To try to get delinquent taxpayers to pay up – and to give well-meaning procrastinators a chance to get back on the straight and narrow – the V.I. Internal Revenue Bureau will waive penalties for those who failed to file in the past, if they file and pay their back taxes now, according to IRB. After the amnesty is over, IRB plans to aggressively pursue those who still have not filed.
The amnesty came about after IRB conducted a preliminary analysis of income sources, which found more than 300 taxpayers have failed to file income tax returns within the last several years and collectively owe between $8 million and $12 million in income taxes, according to a statement from IRB.
“In an effort to encourage compliance, the bureau will offer taxpayers one last chance to come into compliance with their tax filings,” IRB Director Claudette Watson-Anderson said in the statement.
The amnesty period, entitled "Operation Last Chance" by IRB, will run from Thursday through May 17. Those who haven’t filed taxes – and taxpayers who have illegally filed with the Internal Revenue Service – are urged to file all outstanding returns during this period. Penalties will be waived for any taxpayer taking advantage of this opportunity to file and pay outstanding liabilities during this period. Interest will accrue on outstanding balances.
After May 17, "aggressive action will be pursued against non-filers," according to IRB. This may include levies against available income.
A list of those taxpayers the bureau has found to have attempted to evade or defeat taxes will be forwarded to the attorney general’s office for prosecution.
“During this period, it is urgent that taxpayers capitalize on this opportunity to eliminate any chance of prosecution. It is only right that everyone pay his or her fair share of taxes,” Watson-Anderson said.
Taxpayers taking advantage of Operation Last Chance are asked to place the words Operation Last Chance on the top of each return filed under this voluntary program. Taxpayers with questions about Operation Last Chance can call (340) 773-1040 ext.4244