SC tax amnesty drawing to a close - - Columbia, South Carolina |

SC tax amnesty drawing to a close

(Columbia) Nov. 29, 2002 - You don't often see a state office open for business on a holiday weekend. Department of Revenue employees were on the job Friday, helping people pay their back taxes.

Norman Davis with DOR says dozens did at offices in Greenville, Florence, Charleston, Rock Hill and in Columbia, "We're seeing a good response today. So far I think we've had over 43 people come into the office [in Columbia] and we've gotten quite a few phone calls."

Taxpayers with delinquent bills can save themselves a lot of money by taking advantage of the amnesty program. If those bills are paid by midnight Monday, the state will waive all of the penalties and half the interest.

Jimmy and Eva McKiever drove in from the Batesburg area to pay off an old bill on his mother's retirement fund. The bill took an $800 bite out of their budget, but Jimmy says they might as well pay up now, "I think it's a good program, I think they should keep it up. It would help a whole lot of people out."

Eva says it's a tough time of the year to come up with the money, but she says it's worth it, "Right now at Christmas time, it's kind of rough for people to have to come up with that much money at one time. It's kind of rough, but it's a good program. It's a real good program."

If you couldn't make it to DOR on Friday, those five offices will be open again Saturday, from 8:30am to 5:00pm.

Your absolute last chance to pay up with amnesty comes Monday. The Columbia office will be open until midnight and the others until 8:00pm.

Revenue Department spokesman Danny Brazell says the state has collected $11.5 million, about one tenth of the money delinquent taxpayers owe, since the program began on October 15th. Brazell says the agency expects a number of last-minute payments. Beginning December 3rd, taxpayers still owing late taxes will be hit with a 20% collection fee. A similar program 17 years ago collected $7 million.

By Jack Kuenzie
Updated 6:29pm by BrettWitt

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