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The Nevada Independent

State collects $25 million from 2020 tax amnesty program

Riley Snyder
Riley Snyder
Behind the BarLegislature
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Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Steve Yeager prepares to present Assembly Bill 3

A tax amnesty program created by state lawmakers last year as part of a broad effort to balance the state’s pandemic-battered budget brought about $25 million into state coffers from delinquent taxpayers.

The payments, according to a preliminary report produced by the state Department of Taxation, will distribute about $10 million from the state’s general fund, $7.25 million to school districts and the K-12 budget account, and about $7.31 million to local governments. Those payments also resulted in the waiver of about $4.3 million in penalties and $8.1 million in interest, for a total of about $12.46 million.

The tax amnesty program was implemented as part of SB3 in the budget-cut focused 2020 special session, with an expectation that the program would yield about $21 million in funding from delinquent taxpayers. It ran between February and May of 2021, and applied to most types of tax in the state except for the lodging tax, real property transfer tax and any tax on property that is locally assessed.

Around 3,100 individual taxpayers made payments while the amnesty program was open.

State Department of Taxation Director Melanie Young told lawmakers during the 2020 special session that the state is owed about $350 million in delinquent taxes, including about $68.8 million due over the past three years, though only a small portion were considered collectable.

The program applies to monthly tax returns that were due and payable on or before June 30, 2020, and quarterly tax returns due on or before April 30, 2020, including for Sales and Use Tax, Modified Business Tax and Commerce tax, among others. 

Though specific information on individual delinquent taxpayers is considered confidential under state law, the agency shared that the oldest payment dated back to April 1998, and the largest payment was more than $1.5 million. The average payment made into the program was $1,891.

Editor’s Note: This story first appeared in Behind the Bar, The Nevada Independent’s newsletter dedicated to comprehensive coverage of the 2021 Legislature. Sign up for the newsletter here.

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