State cracks down on businesses not paying taxes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

State cracks down on businesses not paying taxes

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Thousands of Georgia's businesses owe more than one billion dollars in uncollected taxes, and the revenue commissioner plans to do something about it.

The Department of Revenue is adding manpower to go after delinquent business owners. Thirty-six new tax agents will cost the state millions, but the extra revenue they collect could end up paying for the expense.

In Dougherty County, 452 different business owe delinquent state taxes. One business, owes more than $501,000. Businesses who pay their taxes want to know how these people got away with it.

Tommy Mc's has been in business for 12 years. Owner Tommy McDowell wouldn't think of not paying his sales and income tax to the state.

"I didn't realize people were not paying the taxes I though it would be just a matter of time before they showed up and closed the business if you didn't," said McDowell.

A new electronic payment program the state forced businesses to use in May, now automatically deducts the payment, but the system has flaws too. Tommy Mc's got billed twice and when they questioned it with the Revenue Department.

"We'll you realize the state of Georgia's broke, well I'm going to be too if they're going to debit the money out of my account," said McDowell.

They just got the money back. Businesses say the state is quick to send several notices if you miss a payment.

"You get a statement from them saying you know we haven't received your monthly this or whatever, it's like wow," said Steve Allen, Owner of Allen's Jewelers.

They're glad the state is now backing that with action. Bill Chambers Motors was closed in August for failure to pay nearly $600,000 in sales tax. Since the new staff was added, the state's collected a million dollars in outstanding taxes. Business owners claim it puts everyone on the same playing field.

"I feel if you're going to be in business then you need to do the right thing, we try to do the right thing," said Allen.

Giving the state the resources it needs to operate.

While many of these businesses owe taxes from previous years, the Revenue Commissioner says as long as you owe money you are still a tax delinquent and you're not in good standing until 100 percent is paid. In the last six years, the state has collected 600-million dollars in back taxes.

The Revenue Commissioner hopes to increase that substantially while shutting down businesses that don't pay.

You can find the list of Delinquent tax paying businesses at https://etax.dor.ga.gov/DeT/CD_WEB_FIFA_LIST_BUSINESS_COUNTY_2010_09.pdf


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