City of Cincinnati announces tax amnesty program

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX 19) -- The city of Cincinnati is asking for city residents to pay up.

According to the city's Finance Department, people living within city limits, owe Cincinnati 47 million dollars in back taxes, that includes all income taxes, fines, fees and interest since 1995.

Starting February 1 through March 31, anyone with unpaid incomes taxes will be able to take advantage of the Second Chance Amnesty Program. The program forgives all interest and late fees from delinquent income tax payments.

"This is an opportunity...this is a chance to get back on board," says Mayor Mark Mallory.

Councilman Charles Winburn presented the program Tuesday morning in city hall.

"If someone has a bill say earnings income tax, they owe the city of Cincinnati 5,000 dollars but their interest in penalties is 3,000, what we will do is the city of Cincinnati is we will forgive them of the 3,000 dollars," says Winburn.

Tax Commissioner Teresa Gilligan says the city of Cincinnati is working with the Internal Revenue Service and the state of Ohio to make sure more people pay their debt and come clean through this program.

"If people do not elect to take advantage of this opportunity we're going to be instituting more stringent enforcement efforts," says Gilligan.

Before you can come clean, you will have to fill out a tax amnesty application which you can find online, submit and even pay your taxes with a credit or debit card.

Income taxes are only phase one, phase two will expand amnesty to code and traffic fines, parking tickets and emergency medical services. Phase two will run from May 1 through June 30.

City council expects phase one to bring in 1.9 million dollars over the next two months.

Copyright 2011 FOX19. All Rights Reserved.