West Virginia State Auditor John B. McCuskey recently announced the implementation of a new tax intercept program.

Spearheaded by the State Auditor’s Office, this program will prevent vendors who owe the state money from being paid, the release said. The money will then be returned to the State Treasury to benefit state taxpayers.

“The number of vendors to be included in the intercept routine will gradually get larger until all vendors are included,” McCuskey said. “This process is designed to ensure the state is not paying vendors who are not paying their taxes.

“We believe this new approach will capture millions of dollars in overdue tax bills, and ensure we are not compensating vendors, with state taxpayer dollars, who do not pay their taxes.”

The plan to interrupt new business or intercept payments to vendors will happen in two phases. 

Phase One, currently in place, will stop any additional business with a vendor the State Tax Department has identified as noncompliant. The vendor will then need to contact the State Tax Department and correct the delinquency in order to receive any new or additional business with the state.

Phase Two, soon to be in place, will not only stop the payment, but also allow for the State Tax Department to redirect the payment back to the state to collect past due taxes.

Vendors who are not in good standing with the State Tax Department will be flagged and their payment halted, the release said. Vendor information is matched against vendor payment files, daily, to determine if the state is about to pay a vendor for goods or services received.

If the vendor is delinquent on taxes, then all or a portion of the vendor payment will be withheld until the vendor contacts the state and gets into compliance.

“Our office continues to lead the way in utilizing technology to benefit the taxpayers,” McCuskey said. “We are very proud of this new program and hopeful the savings created will help alleviate some of the current financial problems in our state.”

Vendors who do business with the State of West Virginia may not be able to do additional business with the state or receive checks for goods or services if they are delinquent on paying their state taxes. New business will be stopped, and the state will soon be intercepting payments. 

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