Deadline for income/sales tax amnesty Oct. 31

Arizonans who have not filed income taxes or paid sales tax for any period since Dec.

31, 1982, have a second chance to settle their state tax liability.

The tax amnesty program began Sept.

1 and ends Oct.

31.

It includes income, withholding and luxury taxes and the Transaction Privilege Tax, commonly known as the sales tax.

"Taxpayers have the opportunity to come into compliance without penalties and with greatly reduced interest payments," Kingman tax accountant Carl Bohn said.

"The state hopes that those who come into compliance will continue to pay taxes voluntarily."

Bohn said it is important to "get the word out" so people can take advantage of the 60-day amnesty period.

"This is great opportunity for those eligible to settle tax bills at the lowest possible cost," J.

Elliot Hobbs, state revenue director said.

"Some individuals and individuals are not paying their fair share to support Arizona government funded activities," Hobbs said.

Tax amnesty is available to taxpayers who:

Failed to file a tax return that was due during the periods covered by the amnesty program or failed to report all income, tax that was due or, if a late filing during that time, tnterest and penalty that was due.

Claimed false credits or deductions.

Amnesty is not offered for property or estate tax.

If amnesty is granted, no civil, administrative or criminal actions will be brought against the taxpayer for the periods covered by their application for amnesty.

Jim Huston, owner of a Kingman tax business, suggested any clients who think the amnesty program would fit them should take advantage of the opportunity.

Those who file would have to make some payment but would have until May 2004 to pay in full.

The state included an estimate of $25 million in revenue from taxpayers who volunteer to take advantage of the amnesty program.

"People and businesses who under-report or fail to file their taxes place an unfair burden on the honest taxpayers who are paying for the essential government services enjoyed by all Arizonans," Gov.Janet Napolitano said in a news release.

The Legislature restored enough money in the budget to hire 103 additional auditors and collectors.

A computer technology upgrade will enable the state to find more individuals and businesses that should be paying Arizona taxes.

For more information about eligibility and how to apply, check the Internet at www.taxamnesty.az.gov.

The Department of Revenue can be contacted by e-mail at amnesty@revenue.state.az or call 602-364-3550.

Kingman accountants and tax firms have the amnesty information available for clients.