Because of my Military Status, I Will Be Late Filing My Declaration or Paying My Taxes.

January 9th, 2013

Section 137.345,  (all cites RSMo 1994) for first class counties and 137.280 for all others, states, in pertinent part

The assessor . . . shall omit assessing the penalty in any case where he is satisfied the neglect falls into at least one of the following categories:

(1)    The taxpayer is in military service and is outside the state; . . . .

It is the Commission’s position that the assessor must be satisfied that the late filing was due to the person being 1) in the military, and 2) outside the state.  The assessor has discretion to waive the penalty or not depending upon his or her determination.  Further, for this provision to provide a valid reason to waive the penalty, the military personnel would have to be stationed outside the state under military orders.  Normally this would also mean they were in active duty.   Conceivably, reserves could be “called up” and might also qualify, but in that sense, they too would be “active duty.”

2.  Are military personnel exempt from paying interest and late fees on both personal and real estate taxes if they pay after December 31 of the tax year?

Section 139.100 .2 states in part:

Collectors shall, on the day of their annual settlement with the county governing body, file with governing body a statement, under oath, of the amount so received, and from whom received, and settle with the governing body therefore; but, interest shall not be chargeable against persons who are absent from their homes, and engaged in the military service of this state or of the United States.

The legislative intent clearly appears to be that active military personnel absent from their homes, i.e., stationed in another state or country, under military orders are exempt from paying interest.  However, this statute does not appear to exempt the military from the collection fee found in section 52.290.