Project Collect Tax Surpasses Goal; Collects $187.5 Million

Date: 7/30/2003

RALEIGH -- The North Carolina Department of Revenue has collected $187.5 million in back taxes during the last two years through its Project Collect Tax initiative – surpassing its internal goal by $37.5 million.

"Project Collect produced a lot of tax revenue in tough budget times and it helped restore fairness in a system where a few taxpayers were getting a free ride,” said Department of Revenue Secretary Norris Tolson. “We have been able to help our state and do what is best for North Carolina taxpayers by reducing the number of unpaid tax accounts.”

Launched in August 2001, Project Collect Tax focused on collecting overdue individual and business taxes with a goal of $150 million. A new law approved by the General Assembly allowed the Department to charge delinquent taxpayers a 20 percent fee that helped cover the collection costs.

The total from all the Department’s collection initiatives amounted to $531,629,051 for the two-year period.

Before Project Collect, attempts to collect from delinquent taxpayers were often ignored. Project Collect allowed the Department to be more active in the pursuit of taxpayers with a tax account at least 90 days past due.

During the two year period, the Department took other steps to increase collections. A special team of employees was created to pursue difficult, high-dollar collection cases. And in January 2002, the Department unveiled the North Carolina Tax Debtors List – a list of corporate and individual taxpayers who owe more than $5,000 in back taxes that is featured on the Department’s website.

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