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600 E. Boulevard Ave.
  Bismarck, ND 58505-0599
  701.328.7088 phone
  701.328.3700 fax
  877.328.7088 toll-free
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Rick Clayburgh, Tax Commissioner 701-328-2770
November 5, 2003

Amnesty Collections On Schedule

BISMARCK --- Tax Commissioner Rick Clayburgh announced today that, after one month, the North Dakota Tax Amnesty program is well underway. The Tax Department has collected about $253,000 in the first four weeks of the program. Approximately 70 taxpayers have applied for amnesty. The Amnesty program allows individuals and businesses to pay their overdue state taxes at a reduced interest rate and without penalty or legal action.

"Based on statistics from our neighboring states' amnesties, this is about what we anticipated," said Commissioner Clayburgh. "North Dakota's program is on schedule. As a rule, amnesty participation surges at the beginning of the program and then again during the final two weeks. We do expect the activity to slow down during the holiday season. We are confident that we will meet our collection target." Lawmakers are hopeful the program will spur state revenues with collection of $550,000 in delinquent state taxes.

Tax Amnesty was authorized by the 2003 Legislature and began October 1. Individuals and businesses who owe the state taxes have until January 31, 2004 to take advantage of this rare program. Tax Amnesty is available to both resident and nonresident individuals and businesses who failed to file a return for any taxable period; underreported tax on returns that have been filed; or have an unpaid tax bill from the Office of State Tax Commissioner.

"This is North Dakota's first amnesty program in over 20 years," Clayburgh said. "It is a rare, limited-time opportunity for North Dakota taxpayers to voluntarily come forward and settle up on their overdue state tax debts."

Tax Amnesty is available for tax liabilities from any reporting period prior to July 1, 2003. Under the program, amnesty participants must pay the tax owed along with 25 percent of the interest. All penalties are waived and the Tax Department will not pursue legal action if eligible taxpayers accurately disclose and pay in full their overdue taxes and interest within the Tax Amnesty period, which ends January 31, 2004.

For more information, visit www.nd.gov/tax or call the Office of State Tax Commissioner at 701-328-2770.

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