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Mississippi is Looking for Nearly $395M in Back Taxes and Penalties

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 21 Nov 2012 02:52pm | comments

The Mississippi Department of Revenue is looking to collect nearly 395 million dollars in back taxes, interest and penalties. MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports on their efforts and what it could mean for you.


The State Department of Revenue is aggressively pursuing more than 154 thousand Mississippi taxpayers whom they say owe the state more than 395 million dollars in back taxes. Department of Revenue spokeswoman, Kathy Waterbury explains how the department got so far behind in tax collections. 


"Well this is not something from the last year or two it's something from the last several years. And the problem has been we have not had the resources to follow up on all of those. Lack of money, just even things  like postage money and money to record liens and stuff because of the budget cut backs and everything over the last years have delayed us from getting the notices out  more quickly.


During a time of economic drought the task of collecting overdue tax debt has become a priority for the department as well as lawmakers. State leaders gave the department of revenue an extra 5 million dollars to hire people and add new online technology to become more aggressive in tax collecting. Waterbury says the investment is already paying off. 


"We are about at the current time about $30 million ahead of where we were this same time last year. And if they're looking at having a repeat of that next year well we hope that we'll be able to provide them the information and anything that they need to show that that is a good investment."


The penalties for not paying overdue taxes are steep. Some of the state options include garnishing wages, filing tax liens or intercepting federal income taxes. Lawayne Childrey MPB News.




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