July 21, 1999


RE: Act 303, Session Laws of Hawaii 1999 (Act 303), Relating to Taxation

Act 303 allows a court to consider probation as a sentencing option for tax offenses. This will enable the Department of Taxation to collect taxes that may otherwise be uncollectible. Act 303 is effective on July 6, 1999.

Under prior law, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) sections 231-34, 231-35, and 231-36 provided for the mandatory sentencing options of a fine, imprisonment, or both. Because these HRS sections did not specifically provide for the sentencing option of probation, the court could not consider probation as an option. See State v. Hamili, 87 Haw. 102 (1998).

Act 303 allows the court to maintain jurisdiction over defendants to ensure payment of taxes as a condition of probation. In contrast, if the court can only impose a fine and/or term of imprisonment, the court does not have the authority to obligate the defendants to remit the taxes they owe. In expanding the sentencing options to include probation, this law would enable the Department to collect taxes that may otherwise be uncollectible.

Forms and other tax information may be downloaded from the Department's website at: http://www.state.hi.us/tax/tax.html. On Oahu, forms may be ordered by calling the Department's Forms Request Line at: 587-7572. Persons who are not calling from Oahu may call: 1-800-222-7572 to receive forms by mail or 808-678-0522 from a fax machine to receive forms by fax.

Director of Taxation