The Ohio Department of Taxation has collected approximately $63 million in delinquent taxes previously owed to the state, which is more than six times the initial goal set.

The six-week 2006 Ohio Tax Amnesty Program ran through Feb. 15, 2006. During that period, the department offered amnesty to eligible taxpayers -- individuals and businesses that had unreported or underreported tax delinquencies. Taxpayers were able to submit payments for qualifying tax delinquencies with no penalties and one-half of the interest charges.

"Tax amnesty was the lowest-cost opportunity for businesses and taxpayers to resolve past tax liabilities, and the Department of Taxation is thrilled that so many decided to take advantage of this program," said Ohio Tax Commissioner William W. Wilkins, in a statement.

Wilkins attributed the success of the program to a comprehensive marketing plan that included grassroots efforts with state-wide business and tax professional groups, media outreach, and a strategic paid advertising campaign with targeted television, radio and print ads.

The department received more than 4,700 amnesty applications, many containing multiple tax returns. More than 12,800 phone calls were taken over a dedicated amnesty help line and nearly 29,000 visits were made to the state's tax amnesty Web site.

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