Senate Bill No. 161
(By Senators Tomblin (Mr. President) and Sprouse
By Request of the Executive)
[Introduced January 20, 2000; referred to the Committee on
A BILL to amend article ten, chapter eleven of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by
adding thereto a new section, designated section twenty-two,
relating to requiring certain businesses to file information
returns to be used solely to analyze the fiscal and economic
effects of the recommendations of the governor's commission on
fair taxation; establishing civil monetary penalty; and
providing for unauthorized disclosure of information returns
and information return information to be a crime.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article ten, chapter eleven of the code of West Virginia,
one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by
adding thereto a new section, designated section twenty-two, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 10. PROCEDURE AND ADMINISTRATION.
§11-10-22. Information returns and due date thereof.
(a) Information returns required. -- The tax commissioner
shall develop a representative statistical sample of persons who
have business registration certificates under article twelve of
this chapter. This sample shall be broad enough to reasonably
predict revenues and to project how the recommendations of the
governor's commission on fair taxation would impact different
classifications of businesses, as well as the various forms of
doing business in which those business activities are conducted.
Persons included in the sample shall file an information return for
the calendar year ending the thirty-first day of December, one
thousand nine hundred ninety-nine, and for the calendar year ending
the thirty-first day of December, two thousand. When a business
keeps its books and records on a fiscal year basis, the business
may elect to file its information returns for its fiscal years
ending within the calendar years two thousand and two thousand one,
(b) Due date. -- Information returns shall be due on the
fifteenth day of the fifth month following the close of the
reporting period, unless the tax commissioner grants an extension of time to file the information return. Information returns shall
be filed in the form and pursuant to instructions prescribed by the
tax commissioner. These returns shall require information and
computations as if the recommendations of the governor's commission
on fair taxation were in effect for the period covered by each
(c) Incentive to file. -- To encourage the filing of complete
and accurate information returns, the tax commissioner shall allow
a two hundred dollar tax credit for each required information
return that is filed electronically, within the meaning of article
five, chapter thirty-nine of this code, and a credit of one hundred
fifty dollars for each such paper return filed. This credit shall
be claimed against the person's liability for tax under article
twenty-three of this chapter. Unused credit may be claimed against
the person's liability for income tax under article twenty-one or
twenty-four of this chapter for the tax year of the person in which
the information return is filed. Alternatively, the tax
commissioner may refund the amount of this credit to any person
required to file information returns under this section.
(d) Civil money penalty. -- Any person required to file an
information return under this section who fails to file the return
timely, determined with regard to any authorized extension of time for filing, or who files a return that is materially incorrect or
incomplete shall pay a money penalty of one thousand dollars for
each return that is not filed timely or that is filed timely but is
materially inaccurate or incomplete. The tax commissioner is
authorized to waive this penalty for good cause shown. This
penalty shall be collected in the same manner as the penalties
imposed by section nineteen of this article are collected.
(e) Confidentiality. --
(1) Information returns and information return information
filed under this section shall be treated as returns and return
information under the provisions of section five-d of this article.
Such returns and return information shall be open to inspection by
or disclosure to officers and employees of the department of tax
and revenue whose official duties require such inspection or
disclosure for the purpose of, but only to the extent necessary in,
preparing economic or financial forecasts, projections, analyses,
and statistical studies and conducting related activities.
(2) Inspection or disclosure shall also be permitted pursuant
to a contract between the proper officer of this state and a
university in this state when the purpose of the disclosure is to
prepare economic or financial forecasts, projections, analyses, and statistical studies and conducting related activities regarding the
recommendations of the governor's commission on fair taxation.
(3) Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person
who receives an information return or information return
information under this section shall disclose the return or return
information to any person other than the taxpayer to whom it
relates except in a form which cannot be associated with, or
otherwise identify, directly or indirectly, a particular taxpayer.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require the tax
commissioner to develop a statistical sampling program in which
certain persons who have a business registration certificate would
be required to file two information returns reporting information
necessary to fairly evaluate and estimate the economic and fiscal
effects of the recommendations of the Governor's Commission on Fair
Taxation. Incentives in the form of tax credits or incentive
payments would be offered to encourage the filing of these
information returns. A waivable civil money penalty would be
imposed in the event a required information return is not timely
filed or the return filed is materially inaccurate or incomplete.
This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.