News Release Archive

Time is running out for Nova Scotians to take advantage of a
three-month provincial tax amnesty.

The amnesty, declared from May 1 to July 31 inclusive, is
targeted both to businesses who have failed to remit taxes
collected from customers and to businesses and individuals who
have not paid taxes owed on purchases. Under the amnesty, owed
taxes can be forwarded to the government without penalty charges.

"We declared this amnesty so Nova Scotia businesses and consumers
can pay overdue taxes without penalties," said Business and
Consumer Services Minister Sandy Jolly. "Since our auditors
recover about $15 million in unremitted taxes each year, it's
only a matter of time before funds owed to the province are
recovered. So now is the time to take advantage of this generous

Response to the amnesty has been positive. So far, the province
has recovered almost $40,000 through the voluntary disclosure
process. Several businesses and individuals have come forward
with owed taxes in order to avoid paying a penalty if caught.
Penalties for intentional failures to remit taxes range from 25
to 105 per cent of the amount owed.

Businesses are the primary target of this amnesty. Each month,
they are required to forward the amount of health services,
tobacco, gasoline and diesel taxes collected from customers to
the Provincial Tax Commission. Although the vast majority of
businesses remit these taxes on time and in full, some do not. To
be eligible for the amnesty, the business will voluntarily pay
the amount due plus interest. Only businesses who are not under,
or contacted about, an audit may participate.

"These are taxes already paid by the customer and should be
remitted to the province," Ms. Jolly said.

Individuals also have the opportunity to come clean. Anyone who
buys a "big ticket" item, such as a boat or a car, outside the
province receives a tax refund or is exempt from paying sales tax
in the province of purchase. The buyer is supposed to pay the
sales tax to Nova Scotia. These individuals may do so under the
amnesty without incurring a penalty charge. The same applies to
contractors who have imported building materials from another
province for use in Nova Scotia and have failed to remit the
taxes on those goods.

"We are rewarding those who come forward with a clean
conscience," said Ms. Jolly. "It's a great deal -- pay your taxes
and all is forgiven."

The Department of Business and Consumer Services is home to the
Provincial Tax Commission, which is responsible for administering
Nova Scotia's tax rules. Anyone seeking more information on the
amnesty can contact the commission toll free at 1-800-565-2336,
or 902-424-6300.


Contact: Louise MacDonald  902-424-0394

         Paul Curran       902-424-6164

trp                    July 22, 1996 - 11:22 a.m.