New technology used to collect old taxes

(Susan Parker)
(Susan Parker)
Reported by: Susan Parker
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Updated: 10/30/2013 7:11 pm
TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- Charlene Bishop just can't believe what she's reading.

"It's ridiculous [and] very hard to comprehend that this could happen," she said.

Bishop says she received a letter from the Mississippi Department of Revenue stating she owes $300 in back sales taxes from 20 years ago.

"There may have been a time or two in the last 30 years it might have been a few days late and I had to pay a penalty, but I have never, never failed to pay it," Bishop said.

The Mississippi Department of Revenue has new, expensive technology in place funded by the Mississippi Legislature.

Spokesperson Kathy Waterbury says they are finally able to try again to collect taxes which they did not have the resources to collect in years past.

That does not set well with Representative Steve Holland who continues to field complaints from business owners.

"You can't go back on a man beyond what is required of him by law to even keep records because he has no records. Most of them are small sums," said Holland.

While the Department of Revenue does not require business owners keep records beyond four years, Waterbury says that does not mean taxes will go unpaid. She says the Mississippi Constitution does not allow them to discharge any debt.

Waterbury says they do have the documentation needed to show what taxes remain unpaid. They are willing to offer help to anyone with questions.
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