The state of Connecticut is offering an incentive to residents who owe back taxes up through 2020.
The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services is offering a window of opportunity, or amnesty, to pay up. Basically, this means that back taxes owed up through 2020 can be paid at reduced interest with no financial penalties - and also no criminal prosecution.
Commissioner of the Dept. of Revenue Services Mark Boughton says the state is hoping to raise at least $40 million through this amnesty program. And he says if those who owe don't come forward, the state will find you.
"We are going to find you. We are employing a whole new set of tools that never existed in years past; artificial intelligence, algorithms, things like that. We are hard-working but sometimes inefficient at who we look at. We now know categories of taxes that people are not paying their full obligation. So, it's only a matter of time," Boughton said.
He says just last week, the department settled a dispute where somebody owed about $3.2 million in unpaid taxes dating back to 2014. That person did pay up, but with the penalties waived, got their payment down to $1.2 million.
So, the state gets something, which is better than nothing, according to Boughton.
"These dollars are used to pay for important services. Police officers, firefighters, teachers, education, higher education. Everything that you enjoy in the state of Connecticut, we need this money for," Boughton said.
The commissioner says the more people who pay taxes, the less likely it is that taxes will have to go up.
That, he says, should be something all taxpayers can agree on.
"Right now, the tax burden is falling on a smaller and smaller group of people that do participate in the system and we want to expand our reach and the participation of those people that are paying taxes," Boughton said.
The state's tax amnesty program runs from now through Jan. 31. For more information, click here.