Another article in this week’s Nashville Business Journal reports on a business issue that I have been aware of, but should on the minds of all business owners (file your reports and pay your taxes.) In “Officials find thousands of small firms haven’t paid state’s business tax”, NBJ reports that the shift of business tax administration away from county clerks entirely to the Tennessee Department of Revenue is revealing millions of dollars of unpaid business tax. “If the early pace continues, the department could well exceed its estimates that the takeover from county clerks would result in $20 million more in revenue to the state and $25 million more for local governments.” Dept. Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr encourages businesses that have not been paying their business tax to take advantage of the waiver of penalties and a shorter ‘look-back’ period (less back taxes) offered to those businesses that voluntarily come forward to report and pay the business taxes.
Maybe some of the unpaid taxes are due to an oversight by these businesses. County Clerks did not have the staff, resources or access to databases to follow-up with non-reporting business. Also, in the hectic life of a small business owner, things get lost in the shuffle. This is a reminder that record keeping, reporting and paying taxes are imperative parts of any business. For a list of a lot of those business hoops you must negotiate, go to http://www.business.hickmantn.org/ .