Tax amnesty program expected to generate deluge of revenue

Indiana analysts predict that waiving penalties on overdue tax payments could generate more than $100 million in additional revenue.

Lawmakers are counting on the money to fund one of Gov. Mike Pence’s economic-development priorities, as well as an effort to salvage daily passenger rail service.

The tax amnesty program created through the 2015 budget bill could generate $109 million to $159 million, according to the Legislative Services Agency.

The budget bill calls for the Department of Revenue to establish emergency rules forgiving penalties on taxes due and payable for tax years ending before Jan. 1, 2013.

The amnesty period should not last longer than eight weeks and will end before Jan. 1, 2017.

The LSA prediction is based on the average and median collection rates of similar programs around the country.

The first $84 million collected under the amnesty program will go to the Regional Cities Development Fund.

The next $6 million will reimburse the Indiana Department of Transportation for subsidies to the Hoosier State Rail Line. Any additional revenue will go to the state general fund.

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