Tax Amnesty Program Recoups Nearly $240 Million For State

By Benjamin Cox on February 5, 2020 at 11:03am

A tax amnesty program created during the passage of last year’s state operating budget has brought in nearly $240 million — approximately $60 million more than was expected — the Illinois Department of Revenue announced yesterday.

The Illinois Tax Amnesty Program, proposed by Governor J.B. Pritzker and passed as part of Senate Bill 689, allowed qualified taxpayers to pay off any outstanding state tax liability and have corresponding penalties and interest forgiven. The Illinois Department of Revenue said that over 63,000 taxpayers took advantage of the program in a verified $237 million as of January 31st.

The program originally predicted that the program would bring in $175 million in outstanding tax liabilities. The program ran from October to mid-November. More than $60 million of the money will go to local governments, with approximately $7.5 million will go to the City of Chicago.

The department will continue to process and certify tax amnesty payments over the next several months to “ensure that the payments comply with the provisions of the program despite the program’s end date in November.

Those participating had to fully pay their tax liability and submit original returns for any unfiled periods and amended returns for periods being adjusted.

More than 90 percent of the money brought in by the program came from payments for liabilities related to the business income tax, the sales tax and the individual income tax, according to the press release from IDOR.