Illinois recently offered a tax amnesty program – waiving penalties and fees for unpaid taxes. It was more successful than state leaders expected.
Nearly $240 million in unpaid taxes poured into the Illinois Department of Revenue because of the 2019 tax amnesty program. That’s much more than the $175 million Gov. J.B. Pritzker thought the program would bring in when it was announced last year.
Carol Portman of the Taxpayers Federation of Illinois says it was a financial boost for the state.
It was a win for taxpayers too, she said. Many people who were facing audits and fines paid their overdue tax bills during the program.
The program allowed people who owed tax debts dating from July 2011 to June 2018 to pay their back-tax bills without penalty.
But Portman says if people know that an amnesty is coming up, they’re likely to skip out on reporting or paying for mistakes until they know it will be penalty-free.