Louisiana has collected $15 million from the first month of a state tax amnesty program that began Sept. 1 and extends through Oct. 31.

The Department of Revenue had estimated the voluntary amnesty would bring in $150 million. The department said individual and corporations owe the state approximately $473 million in back taxes.

The state has collected $6.8 million in overdue taxes, including $4 million from individual taxpayers, and $8.2 million determined through audits.

One company paid $6 million in back taxes after an audit revealed its liability, according to revenue department spokesman Byron Henderson.

Louisiana will use up to $86 million of the amnesty revenue to replenish its budget stabilization fund, which was tapped by the Legislature this year to soften proposed budget cuts to higher education.

Delinquent taxpayers who pay in full will have all the penalties and half of the accumulated interest waived. This is the seventh state tax amnesty program since 1985.

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