Pennsylvania Launches Big-Brotherish Tax Amnesty Ad Campaign
May 3, 2010
From April 26, 2010 to June 18, 2010, delinquent Pennsylvania taxpayers can pay their back taxes and get all penalties and half of owed interest waived. Tax amnesties like this are popular in many states right now, as a way to get cash in the door.
Frequent amnesties, however, undermine compliance with the law; why be an honest taxpayer when the penalties will get thrown out eventually? If tax law is so complicated we have to waive people out of it, maybe it should be fixed for good. (Pennsylvania’s last amnesty was 1995-96. The state swears that people who participate in this amnesty will not be eligible to participate in future amnesties.) Further, evaders caught after the amnesty will be assessed an additional 5% non-participation penalty, whether or not they knew about it.
So Pennsylvania is doing their best to make sure people know about it, running ads with veiled threats and government surveillance themes, with the taglines “Yes, we know who you are” and “Find us before we find you.” A video ad:
Here’s a print ad from the campaign:
The full campaign page here.
More on Pennsylvania here.
Was this page helpful to you?
The Tax Foundation works hard to provide insightful tax policy analysis. Our work depends on support from members of the public like you. Would you consider contributing to our work?Contribute to the Tax Foundation
Let us know how we can better serve you!
We work hard to make our analysis as useful as possible. Would you consider telling us more about how we can do better?Give Us Feedback