2005 Regular Session
To: Ways and Means
By: Representative Carlton (By Request)
AN ACT TO ESTABLISH A REWARD PROGRAM TO REWARD CITIZENS WHO REPORT PERSONS LIABLE FOR UNPAID TAXES; TO AUTHORIZE THE STATE TAX COMMISSION TO PROMULGATE RULES AND REGULATIONS TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES OF THIS ACT; TO AMEND SECTION 27-3-79, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY THERETO; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) The State Tax Commission is authorized to establish a reward program to reward citizens who report persons liable for unpaid taxes. The commission shall investigate reports of unpaid taxes and if such investigation results in the recovery of unpaid taxes, the citizen who made the report shall receive an award as provided in this subsection. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the amount of the award payment made to any person who provides information to the commission which results in the collection of unpaid or future Mississippi taxes of any kind shall not exceed twenty-five percent (25%) of any tax, penalties or interest collected as a result of the information. Any employee or former employee of the commission or of any other state or federal agency who comes into possession of information relating to a violation of a revenue law while an employee of the agency may provide information to the department, but the employee may not be compensated for the information.
(2) The State Tax Commission shall promulgate any necessary rules and regulations to establish administrative procedures, hearings and any other purposes necessary to carry out the provisions of this act.
SECTION 2. Section 27-3-79, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
27-3-79. (1) The State Tax Commission shall develop and implement a tax amnesty program in accordance with the provisions of this section. The program shall begin on September 1, 2004, and end on December 31, 2004. The program shall apply to all taxes that are required to be collected by the State Tax Commission or commissioner and that were first due and payable for the year 1999 and after. Tax amnesty shall be available to any individuals or corporations who are liable for those taxes and who have failed to pay all or any portion of their taxes, failed to file returns or filed inaccurate returns; however, tax amnesty shall not be available to individuals or corporations subject to tax-related criminal investigations or prosecution, or where the taxes have been previously assessed by the commission, or to estimated tax payments required to be made under Section 27-7-319. All civil and criminal penalties for nonpayment of taxes, including the penalties set forth in subsection (2) of this section, shall be waived for any eligible individual or corporation who, during the tax amnesty period, makes total payment of the taxes due. The State Tax Commission is authorized to do all things necessary to carry out the tax amnesty programs that are not inconsistent with this section.
(2) Any person eligible for the tax amnesty program and who fails to make total payment of the taxes due during the tax amnesty period, or any person who willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any tax imposed by the State Tax Commission, or assists in the evading of that tax or the payment thereof, including violations determined under Section 27-3-80, shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00) and, in the case of a corporation, not more than Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($500,000.00), or imprisoned not more than five (5) years, or both.
(3) Any prosecutions for tax evasion as described in this section shall be begun within six (6) years next after the statutory due date for the taxes in issue.
(4) Citizens reporting unpaid taxes shall be eligible for a reward as provided in Section 1 of this act.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.