The Washington State Department of Revenue recently won a national award for its implementation of a 2011 taxpayer amnesty.
The nonprofit Federation of Tax Administrators named the agency co-winner of its 2012 Taxpayer Service and Education award in recognition of how the Department of Revenue launched the three-month amnesty period only seven weeks after the Washington state legislature authorized it in a one-day special session.
By allowing businesses to pay back taxes without penalties and interest, the amnesty generated $345.8 million from more than 5,000 businesses, 75 percent of them small businesses that grossed less than $1 million annually.
The voluntary payment of delinquent taxes saved businesses $91 million in penalties and interest that otherwise would have applied.
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The panel of Federation of Tax Administrators judges called the state's amnesty program a good model for the way amnesties should be conducted, according to a news release.