Business | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

What Do You Owe? Florida's Tax Amnesty Day

By: Eyewitness News Email
By: Eyewitness News Email

Floridians have until the end of business Thursday to pay their back taxes without a penalty. Florida’s Tax Amnesty period began July 1st and so far 54 million dollars has been collected. But, as Whitney Ray tells us, more than half a billion is still owed, and most people who owe don’t even know they’re breaking the law.

FSU Senior Joey Scotten is taking time between classes to shop online.

“I have 20 extra minutes, time to kill; I can just pop online on wifi there and see what I need,” said Joey.

Joey’s buying new shocks for his bike. The company he’s buying from isn’t located in Florida and therefore isn’t required to charge Joey state sales tax. So now it’s up to Joey to find the DR-15MO form online, fill it out, calculate what he owes and then mail a check to the Department of Revenue.

Now that Joey knows what to do, he might pay the tax, but thousands of online shoppers are still in the dark about what they owe.

“I used to order stuff online for my ballet and it was California so they didn’t charge sales tax because it was from California,” said Leslie, but she didn’t know she still owed taxes in Florida.

Not paying carries penalties as high 50 percent on some past due taxes, but from July 1st until Thursday, the state is waving the penalties for people who want to get on the right side of the law.

Harvey Bennett with Florida TaxWatch says the tax amnesty period encourages compliance.

“It’s better to get some money now, than to not get it later,” said Bennett.

54 million dollars in back taxes has been paid so far. Half a billion is still owed. The Department of Revenue expects a surge in payments before Friday.


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