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Mississippi’s tax amnesty program will run from September 1, 2004 through December 31, 2004 and applies to all state taxes, except required estimated income tax payments and taxes which have already been assessed by the State Tax Commission. Participating individuals and corporations who have not paid taxes in the period of January 1, 1999 through December 31, 2004, or who have filed inaccurate returns, will not be subject to penalties or criminal prosecution. In addition, if the tax has not been collected, interest may be waived. The program will not be available to individuals and businesses already being investigated for tax-related issues. Anyone eligible for the amnesty program who fails to pay taxes due during the amnesty program will face fines of up to $100,000 for individuals and $500,000 for corporations and/or may face jail time up to five years. More information and the amnesty application is available at (Mississippi Tax Amnesty Program Questions and Answers, July 1, 2004)


Effective July 1, 2004, sales and use tax exemptions as well as corporate and personal income tax credits are allowed for motion picture production companies that produce nationally distributed motion pictures, television series, or commercials in the state. Items used in these productions are eligible for sales tax exemption. Such items include but are not limited to: film, videotape, component building materials used in the construction of a set, makeup, fabric used in the making of costumes, accessories and jewelry used as wardrobes, prop materials and special effect- making materials. The definition of "manufacturing machinery" has also been amended to include machinery and equipment used in the motion picture or aforementioned production company products. (H.B. 1780, Laws 2004)


The rule regarding sales and use tax of computer equipment and services has been amended by the State Tax Commission, effective February 27, 2003. The new definition of "computer hardware" now includes components, accessories, and computer license fees, which are taxable whether they occur one time or annually. Services such as web page design and creation, charging for maintenance and installation and the initial charges for training of user personnel are also taxable. Nontaxable professional services, such as legal services, are subject to tax if they are incidental to the sale of computer hardware, software, or programs. (Mississippi Rule 75, February 27, 2003)


Businesses that operate a project in a Mississippi county that is a member of a Regional Development Business Alliance are allowed an exemption from Mississippi corporate income, franchise, local county and possibly municipal real property taxes. Along with these exemptions, Mississippi has enacted a new exemption for sales of component materials and equipment to the enterprises that are eligible for the Regional Development Alliance County exemption. Such projects must consist of enterprises with an initial capital investment of not less than $300 million, or not less than $150 million if at least 1,000 net new full time jobs have been created. The exemptions are allowed for 10 years or until December 31, 2015, whichever comes first. (H.B. 1639, Laws 2002, effective March 20, 2002.)



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