Arkansas Secretary of State Charlie Daniels reminded businesses, including insurance organizations, that they should be aware that the filing deadline for franchise taxes is one month earlier this year with monies due to the state on May 2, the Associated Press reported.
Daniels recently kicked off a campaign to get the word out through public service announcements airing on radio and television and through newspaper advertisements.
This year marks the first year every incorporated business, limited partnership and insurance corporation in Arkansas is required to pay their franchise taxes before June.
In 2003, the state Legislature revised the corporate franchise tax law in a special session by increasing the amount to be paid to the state and changing the deadline.
“We are doing everything so that our state’s businesses aren’t caught off-guard,” Daniels said. “So far, we have directly contacted each of the 100,000 companies through letters and newsletters.”
The ad campaign will cost about $30,000. The money needed to produce the series of public service announcements was appropriated by the Legislature, according to Peggy Graham, chief deputy for the Secretary of State.
Each corporation is now required to pay an annual franchise tax of no less than $150, up from the $50 that was previously mandated.
In 2004, the state began allowing companies to file taxes online, in addition to giving them the opportunity to mailing them in or delivering them in person. That year, 30,000 companies did not pay their taxes in Arkansas.
Anita Chance, a product manager in the Secretary of State’s Office, said companies that are delinquent have their corporation status revoked until they pay up. They also have to pay a penalty of $26 each year they are late filing.
“If you look back on the records of revoked status companies we run every year, 20 to 30,000 will not pay their taxes,” she said.
Daniels said that with over 100,000 corporations registered in Arkansas the state is expected to generate $14 million through the franchise tax. Eight million dollars will go to the General Improvement Fund and the remaining $6 million will be funneled to the Educational Adequacy Fund.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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