Tax commission extends amnesty because of success |

Tax commission extends amnesty because of success

The Nevada Tax Commission agreed Monday to extend a tax amnesty program for another month because of the program’s success.

The amnesty allows businesses that owe the state money to avoid penalties and interest if they voluntarily sign up with the taxation department and pay their back taxes.

Taxation Director Dino Dicianno said the amnesty has been much more successful than anyone expected, bringing in $27 million of the estimated $76 million the state is owed by businesses. With interest and penalties, he said, the total accounts receivable owed the state is nearly $100 million.

The receipts from the amnesty were more than double the $13 million he estimated when the program was approved by Gov. Jim Gibbons and the Legislature in June.

“It’s been a tremendous success,” he said, adding that fully $13 million of the total came in on Sept. 30, the final day of the amnesty period.

He said that was no surprise because it makes sense that businessmen owing taxes would keep the money in their bank accounts until the last possible minute.

Based on the program’s success, Dicianno asked the Tax Commission to extend the amnesty period another month until Oct. 28. The commission voted 6-0 to approve the extension but asked what he intended to do about businesses reporting in between Sept. 30 and Oct. 6 when the amnesty was reinstated.

Dicianno said he would examine those businesses on a case by case basis.

In addition to getting the $27 million in back taxes, Dicianno said all those businesses ” as many as 1,800 of them ” are now on his department’s taxpayer roll and will be paying from now on.

The amnesty waives interest and penalties on the sales and use tax as well as the Modified Business Tax and business license fee. But Dicianno was surprised during the program to see payments owed under the Business Activity Tax, which was repealed and replaced by the Modified Business Tax. Those collections totaled nearly $400,000, which would probably never have been collected any other way.

Of the total collected, fully two-thirds goes to the state treasury. The rest goes to local governments and school districts in Nevada.

Dicianno said after the vote a large portion of the remaining money owed the state is tied up in bankruptcy proceedings, estate cases and court appeals and, at least for now, are beyond his reach legally.

Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.