Senate Bill No. 172
(By Senators Sprouse, Ross and Minear)
[Introduced January 19, 1998; referred to the Committee
on Small Business; and then to the Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend chapter eleven of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding
thereto a new article, designated article twenty-eight,
relating to small business tax amnesty program for interest
and penalties on delinquent taxes and premiums; legislative
findings; authority to promulgate rules; and prohibition
against future amnesty plans.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That chapter eleven of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by
adding thereto a new article, designated article twenty-eight, to
read as follows:
CHAPTER 11. TAXATION.
ARTICLE 28. SMALL BUSINESS TAX AMNESTY PROGRAM OF 1998.
§11-28-1. Legislative findings.
The Legislature finds that a one-time amnesty program which
permits small businesses, as defined in this article, which are
delinquent in paying their taxes, to pay back tax obligations
without interest or penalty will have a positive effect on state
revenues, on small businesses, and on the citizens of the state.
The Legislature finds further that, while it has no tolerance for
scofflaws, otherwise law-abiding operators of small businesses
may have fallen behind in tax payments and be unable to pay both
the taxes and the heavy interest and penalties attendant thereto.
However, a program such as this should be a once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity, and as such, the Legislature intends that this
program not be repeated in the foreseeable future.
§11-28-2. Small business defined; small business tax amnesty
program created; amnesty allowed on interest and penalties of delinquent taxes; taxes affected.
For purposes of this article, the term "small business" is
defined as any business operating within the state, whether
operating as a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation,
which employs one hundred persons or less. The general term
"taxpayer," as used in this article, refers to the small business
entity which owes any tax obligations to the state.
There is created the small business tax amnesty program of one thousand nine hundred ninety-eight. Notwithstanding any
other sections of this code to the contrary, for all taxes
delinquent on and after the first day of October, one thousand
nine hundred ninety-eight, but before midnight on the
thirty-first day of December, one thousand nine hundred
ninety-eight, the taxpayer may elect to pay the taxes in full
without the addition of interest or penalties.
This amnesty extends to all taxes imposed for any purpose
by the state of West Virginia against a small business, whether
designated in-state or out-of-state.
§11-28-3. Filing dates.
No amnesty for interest and penalties pursuant to this
article shall be allowed unless the delinquent taxes are actually
paid and in the possession of the state tax commissioner between
and including the respective dates of the first day of October,
one thousand nine hundred ninety-eight, and on the thirty-first
day of December, one thousand nine hundred ninety-eight.
Taxpayers not filing for amnesty as provided by this article
within the time frame established under this section are deemed
to have waived all claims for amnesty: Provided, That a taxpayer
filing a timely claim for amnesty, accompanied by a completed
return form as prescribed by the state tax commissioner and tax
payment in full, may file an amended return form at a later date as allowed by rules promulgated pursuant to this article.
§11-28-4. Forms and instructions; maximum participation.
The state tax commissioner shall prescribe and make
available forms for paying taxes pursuant to this article, with
instructions for taxpayers, and every assessor and sheriff shall
comply with all reasonable requests and rules of the state tax
commissioner in order to encourage maximum participation of
delinquent taxpayers under the provisions of this article.
§11-28-5. Tax commissioner to propose rules for legislative
The state tax commissioner shall propose rules for
legislative promulgation pursuant to article three, chapter
twenty-nine-a of this code to effectuate the provisions of this
§11-28-6. Effective date; prohibition against future amnesty
The provisions of this article shall be in effect on and
between the first day of October, one thousand nine hundred
ninety-eight and on the thirty-first day of December, one
thousand nine hundred ninety-eight.
No other amnesty program affecting interest and penalties
on taxes for small businesses may be implemented by statute or
rule before the first day of January, two thousand twenty-two.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create the "Small
Business Tax Amnesty Program of 1998." The program would allow
operators of small businesses to pay delinquent taxes on and
between October 1, 1998 and December 31, 1998. If paid in full
during this period, no penalties or interest would attach to the
payments. The bill permits promulgation of rules regarding the
program; prohibits any other like amnesty programs for the next
twenty-five years; and defines small business as any business
employing one hundred employees or less.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.