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Voluntary tax amnesty ends June 30

Treasury Secretary Jesús Méndez (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

With just two days left until the end of the government’s 2011 fiscal year, Treasury Secretary Jesús Méndez on Tuesday urged citizens and corporations that have not reported income received from legal sources to do so without penalty through the agency’s Voluntary Declaration Program that ends June 30.

The amnesty gives individuals and businesses with unreported income a special 20 percent tax rate and an exemption from interest charges.

“After [June 30], this window closes and the Treasury Department will investigate those individuals or corporations who show a high probability of being tax evaders,” said Méndez.

The Voluntary Declaration Program is open to individuals and corporations with unreported income obtained between July 1, 2003 and December 31, 2009. It does not apply to disclosures of income under audit, a criminal investigation or litigation, or have been notified of a deficiency. It also does not apply to companies with decrees granted under the industrial incentives or tourism laws.

Treasury can refer cases to the Justice Department of those who fail to voluntarily disclose their income, for criminal prosecution. He said taxpayers who are eligible to participate in this program but fail to request it will be subject to a 200 percent interest and penalties.

Tax return reimbursements moving along
While those who have tax bills pending have until Thursday to voluntarily own up to the debt, it is also the Treasury Department’s deadline to issue tax return reimbursements to those eligible. Checks issued after June 30 should have a few additional dollars in interest added to the amount.

As of June 23, the most recent date for which totals are available, Treasury had paid some $457 million in reimbursements associated with some 552,891 tax returns. At the same time last year, the agency had cut checks for 472,576 taxpayers.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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