News Release Archive

Businesses and individuals will have a chance over the next three
months to pay unreported provincial taxes without being
penalized, Business and Consumer Services Minister Don Downe
announced today.

A provincial tax amnesty has been declared from May 1 to July 31
and is targeted to businesses and individuals who have yet to
forward taxes collected from customers, or have not paid taxes
owed on purchases.

Every month businesses forward to the Provincial Tax Commission
the amount of health services, tobacco, gasoline and diesel taxes
collected from customers during the month. "The vast majority of
businesses remit these taxes on time and in full," Mr. Downe
said. "However there are some who, for various reasons, do not
forward this money that has already been paid by their customers.

"We are offering these businesses a deal: forward this money to
government and you won't be penalized or charged."

In order to be eligible for the amnesty, the business will
voluntarily pay, or make arrangements to pay, the amount due plus
interest. The eligible business must not be under audit by the
tax commission, or have been contacted about an audit.

Individuals who make "big ticket" purchases, such as a boat or a
car, outside the province are also covered by the amnesty. These
individuals are refunded the provincial sales tax in the province
in which the purchase was made and are expected to pay the Nova
Scotia tax.

The amnesty will also apply to contractors who import building
materials from another province for use in Nova Scotia. The
materials are not taxed in the province of purchase, but taxes
are to be paid to Nova Scotia.

"Provincial tax auditors are very good at recovering unremitted
taxes," Mr. Downe said. "Auditors recover about $15 million each
year." Penalties for intentionally not remitting taxes range from
25 to 105 percent of the amount owed.

As the department responsible for administering provincial tax
rules, Business and Consumer Services is sensitive to the
concerns of businesses that collect taxes on behalf of the
province, the minister said. "The planned harmonization of the
provincial sales tax and the GST will make it simpler for these
businesses. They  will then be dealing with one sales tax, one
administration and one system, leaving them more time to spend on
their businesses rather than filling out forms."

All registered vendors will be directly informed of the amnesty


Contact: David MacNeil  902-424-2933

trp                    Apr. 30, 1996 - 12:20 p.m.