Raleigh, N.C. — A proposal tentatively approved Wednesday by the Senate would charge people a $100 penalty for filing their personal income tax returns late, even if the people are due a refund.
Senate Bill 523 will likely face a final Senate vote Thursday before heading to the House.
Sponsor Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, said the bill is designed to clarify late penalties that the state Department of Revenue can charge individuals and businesses.
Sen. Dan Clodfelter, D-Mecklenburg, protested, however, saying the state has no right to dun people for being tardy in requests to get their own money back.
The state and the Internal Revenue Service have traditionally skipped late penalties for people who didn't owe anything, which Clodfelter said is a good practice.
"If you're late and you owe tax, that's fine," he said. "If folks are a little slow in getting their own money back, that just means the state gets the use of their money for a longer period of time."