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State

Gov’t workers late in filing ’14 tax returns

CHICAGO – More than 300 state employees, including two lawmakers, are delinquent in paying their taxes for the 2014 calendar year, according to the Illinois Department of Revenue.

Department of Revenue officials told the Chicago Tribune that the 312 state workers are getting their salaries but still haven’t filed returns for calendar year 2014, which were due two years ago.

Each of the employees has already been given a $250 penalty for delinquency and faces an additional penalty equivalent to 10 percent of any taxes owed.

The lawmakers appear to be the highest-ranking stragglers out of thousands of Illinois workers whom the revenue agency originally identified and contacted after matching W-2 tax forms to payroll records.

The department declined to name any of the workers because tax returns are confidential.

State officials said the first round of notices, sent last summer, called on the Illinois employees to file their returns or explain why it was unnecessary. A second round was distributed in March.

“It’s outrageous,” GOP Rep. David McSweeney said, adding that many Republicans and Democrats have talked about increasing taxes. He said state workers “should be held to a higher standard.”

The majority of the late tax filers are rank-and-file employees at more than 25 agencies under Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. They include two workers of the Illinois State Police, seven tollway employees, nine Department of Employment Security workers, 17 Department of Transportation employees, 24 Department of Children and Family Services workers, 54 Department of Corrections employees and 119 Department of Human Services workers.

There also are 13 employees under Democratic Secretary of State Jesse White, one under Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan and four court staffers.

The largest agencies tended to have the most tardy tax filers as they did when the newspaper reviewed a similar agency effort done more than 15 years ago.

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