Pay Your Taxes or Get Your 15 Minutes of Shame!

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Associates RS - 0019092

The Delaware Division of Revenue posted another list of the top 100 delinquent individual and business taxpayers on its website.

The new lists will name individuals and businesses that, combined, owe nearly $6 million to the state, Division of Revenue Director Patrick Carter said Friday, Feb. 12.

Since the Delaware Delinquent Taxpayers website went live in February 2007, the state has collected more than $6.5 million in back taxes from taxpayers whose names were posted or were advised they qualified to have their name posted.

With the posting of this round of Delaware's delinquent taxpayers, Carter said he expects Delaware to see even more money in the weeks to come.

By legislative order, larger balances were targeted first for publication. Each quarter, the next 100 business tax and 100 personal tax unresolved balances greater than $1,000 are posted to the site.

"This site is extremely successful," Carter said. "People generally don't want their individual or business names posted online for not paying taxes."

In addition to collecting outstanding debt, the state is saving money by not having to pay collection agency costs, he said.

State Rep. Deborah Hudson (R-Fairthorne), who sponsored the legislation that established the posting of delinquent taxpayers, said collecting this money is important during trying times.

To meet the criteria for posting to the site, individuals and businesses must have already received a judgment for unpaid taxes. They are then notified by mail that their name may be posted online and given 60 days to respond.

The names of those who enter into a payment agreement with the Division of Revenue or pay their balance in full are either not published or will be removed from the Delinquent Taxpayers list, depending on when the agreement takes place.

Taxpayers who have filed for bankruptcy protection or have incurred a liability that is being appealed are excluded from the published list until their case has been resolved.

"A large percentage of outstanding accounts are resolved just so people can avoid having their names or business names posted online," Carter said. "Another group of people resolve their accounts immediately after seeing their names online. Ultimately, this site provides the motivation some people need to finally resolve their tax debt."

If your name or business appears in one of the lists, please contact the Division of Revenue's Account Management Department at 302-577-8786 and ask to speak to your account assignee.

Delaware is one of more than 20 states and the District of Columbia to publish delinquent taxpayers online.

by GateHouse News Service


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Jay Schmitt
Keller Williams Keystone Realty - Gettysburg, PA
Gettysburg Real Estate Agent

That is good idea.  Do you know of any other states that are using this system as a collection method? I am glad they do not post the hardship cases.

Feb 21, 2010 03:26 AM #1
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

I live in an area that publishes names of delinquent tax payers in the newspapers. You are so right--It is a very embarassing   "15 minutes of shame".

Feb 21, 2010 03:28 AM #2
Carol Pease
JP & Associates Realtors - Bastrop, TX
CRS, Broker-Associate 512-721-6320

Very interesting.  I bet it will work.  Most people will do anything to keep their name out of the paper when the news is negative. 

Feb 21, 2010 03:45 AM #3
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Christopher Pataki

Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
What is Your Home Worth?
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