I find this a bit odd. Supposedly the Indiana Dept. of Revenue is supposed to list tax warrants that are between two and ten years old since their first issuance, and the liability is more than $1,000. So, I go to theIDOR Tax Warrants page, where it says that, indeed, they are supposed to list such warrants. Unless I’m just completely incompetent at navigating the site, the warrant list will be unavailable from Sept. 15 through Nov. 15 which just so happens to be the Tax Amnesty period. I’d love to know the rationale behind this.
Personally, I just want to use the site to verify whether a debtor I’m trying to collect from accurately represented his obligation to the Indiana Dept. of Revenue.
Update: Interesting. I called into the Dept. of Revenue and asked first why the tax warrant information was not online. She said that it ws because of the amnesty and because DOR did not want to confuse the debtors — the tax warrant information included penalties and interest, whereas under the amnesty, the debtors would be liable for a lesser amount.
I asked whether the tax warrant information could be given over the telephone. The person I spoke with said not unless I had received permission from the debtors to release that information.
I think the Department of Revenue is now in violation of IC 6-8.1-3-16(j) which states:
The department shall publish the list compiled under this subsection on accessIndiana (as operated under IC 4-13.1-2) and make the list available for public inspection and copying under IC 5-14-3.
I just glanced at HEA 1004 which contained the tax amnesty legislation, and it says nothing about suspending the provisions of IC 6-8.1-3-16(j). I also glanced at the the temporary rules of the Dept. of Revenue (pdf) and did not see anything about the removal of tax warrant lists from public access. (Not that the DOR has the authority to ignore a statute without permission from the General Assembly in any case.)
So, to recap, the Indiana Department of Revenue is required to list outstanding tax warrants on the Internet. It has apparently decided on its own to violate that requirement because it wants to “avoid confusion”. And, it refuses to provide the required information over the telephone while the “confusing” information is off line.
My conspiratorial side suggests an effort to make it more difficult to assess the benefits and costs of the tax amnesty program. But, I suppose mere bureaucracy is sufficient explanation. And, there is always the possibility I missed the provision that authorizes the DOR to withhold this information for the duration of the tax amnesty period.