Massachusetts Amnesty Initiative Update

April 07, 2015

By William Gentilesco, CPA

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (“DOR”) recently announced a 60-day amnesty program which seeks to encourage the payment of delinquent taxes. Starting March 16, the program will run 60 days (through May 15) and applies to liabilities incurred on or before January 1, 2015. Under the program, the DOR will waive all assessed, unpaid penalties for taxpayers who make a full payment of all outstanding taxes and interest due for any period listed on a Tax Amnesty Notice by the May 15 deadline.  However, interest charges are not subject to waiver.

Only taxpayers that have received a Tax Amnesty Notice from the DOR are eligible to participate in the program.  Notices will be mailed, starting the week of March 16, to 24,000 taxpayers notifying those who qualify for the program. The program covers taxpayers who have previously been billed by the DOR for outstanding tax liabilities. The tax types included in the program are corporate excise taxes, estate tax, fiduciary income taxes, and individual use tax on motor vehicles.  Additionally, corporate taxpayers must be in compliance with the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s filing requirements to be eligible for amnesty. 

Amounts paid under amnesty are not refundable and taxpayers must waive their rights to contest such payments. Additionally the program will not apply to taxpayers who only owe penalties, have signed settlement agreements, or who are subject to tax-related criminal investigation. Those who have entered into a payment agreement with the state or have pending appeals will be allowed to participate. 

Please contact one of your state and local tax professional if you receive a Tax Amnesty Notice or if you have questions regarding the program.    

About William Gentilesco

William Gentilesco is a State and Local Tax Group Director focusing on state and local income taxation and sales and use tax consulting.

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