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Kansas tax tidbit: voluntary disclosure

Kansas flag We're not in Kansas tax trouble anymore, Toto. That's what residents of the Sunflower State can say if they take advantage of the state's Voluntary Disclosure offer.

Under this program, Kansans who haven't met their state tax obligations can come forward on their own, register with the state and pay their overdue taxes. The program is open to folks who are delinquent on tax administered by the Kansas Department of Revenue's taxation division.

So why confess your tax sins?

By doing so, you'll limit the Kansas tax collectors' look back at your filings to three years. Plus, you wont have to worry about what the state might discover through its normal investigative or audit procedures.

Fiscally, you'll avoid penalties that are usually added for late filing and payment. You will, however, still have to pay interest due on the unpaid taxes.

But there are a few requirements to be able to participate in the voluntary disclosure program.

The key thing to remember is that it's too late if tax officials already know about your nonpayment.

So you can't come forward to disclose a nonpayment for which you've already been contacted by Kansas tax officials or the Multistate Tax Commission.

Similarly, you can't be undergoing an audit for the tax you're seeking to disclose.

Finally, your failure to pay the tax can't be because of fraud or gross negligence on your part.

If you didn't pay your taxes, you obviously were negligent. Gross negligence is a legal concept meaning serious carelessness or an intentional failure to follow the law without any thought to to the consequences. Attorneys, tax and otherwise, please feel free to elaborate in the comments.

If you meet the requirements and are tired of always looking over your shoulder for the Kansas tax collector, consider owning up to your oversight.

Tax trip around the United States: This post is part of our series highlighting tax information from the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. You can read other state tax blurbs at our Complete menu of tasty state tax tidbits.

The State Tax Departments page provides links to official state and District of Columbia revenue Web sites so that you can find out more about your home's tax laws and filing requirements.

As we work through the 2010 tax season, a different state will be featured each day as noted in Don't forget your state taxes! Check back to see what tax tidbit we share about your home.

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