Iowa offers deal to motor home tax dodgers
DES MOINES (AP) — The state is offering a one-time deal to people who have been dodging Iowa taxes on motor homes.
The state Department of Revenue is working with the state Department of Transportation to make a settlement offer to people whose motor vehicles are registered to out-of-state limited liability corporations.
The offer includes paying the initial registration fee of 5 percent of the purchase price and a penalty of 10 percent of the fee, The Des Moines Register reported. The terms are non-negotiable.
If the tax evaders don’t take the offer, they could face fraud charges and fines equal to 75 percent of the fee that was evaded.
“This is an opportunity to contact us before we contact you,” said Victoria Daniels, a spokeswoman for the revenue department. “If you contact us, for this limited time we are going to be able to work out a settlement. If you don’t contact us, and we find out about it, we are going to pursue every remedy we have under the law.”
A law passed this year is aimed at keeping Iowans from registering luxury motor homes in Montana, where out-of-state residents legally can set up a shell company and register a motor home there. Montana doesn’t charge general sales taxes.
Officials say some RV owners have avoided paying thousands of dollars of Iowa taxes and fees, though there is no precise figure. The DOT’s motor vehicle enforcement investigative unit has been working on dozens of cases involving such incidents, and investigators have recovered more than $1 million in the past two years.
“Our hope is that this would get it cleared up much sooner, rather than dragging it out for an extended period of time,” said Maj. Paul Steier, commander of the unit.
The settlement agreement must be signed and paid in full by Oct. 23.