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NEWS & TIPS
The Sales Tax Institute reviews numerous sales tax publications to monitor state activity on various topics related to sales and use tax. By checking updates routinely, you may be alerted to an impending tax law change critical to your business.
Browse recent and archived news items by searching relevant categories, states or descriptions at right
The information listed here is high-level summary and background material intended to help you stay current in the dynamic area of sales and use tax. Sources include CCH State Tax Day, Sales and Use Tax Alert, Sales Tax Notes, Vertex, Inc. Reference Manuals, Westlaw, and other miscellaneous state tax newsletters and Department of Revenue notices.
Please note that these summaries omit many details and special rules, and cannot be regarded as legal or tax advice. For more information, be sure to contact your tax advisor.
HOT NEWS UPDATES:
Indiana Governor Mike Pence has signed the State Biennial Budget Bill, which requires the Indiana Department of Revenue to establish a tax amnesty program for taxpayers having an unpaid tax liability for a listed tax that was due and payable for a tax period ending before January 1, 2013. The amnesty program is limited to an eight-week period to be determined by the Department, ending no later than January 1, 2017. Penalties and interest on unpaid tax liabilities will be waived for qualified participants in the amnesty program. The Department will not seek civil or criminal prosecution and shall not issue or will withdraw an assessment or notice previously issued. Any additional taxes due under the amnesty must be paid or a payment plan entered into before the conclusion of the amnesty program. Any taxpayer who participated in any prior amnesty is barred from the 2015 amnesty. Any participant in the 2015 amnesty will be barred from participating in any future amnesty. If eligible taxpayers do not participate in the amnesty and additional taxes are deemed due, additional penalties will apply. (H.B. 1001, Laws 2015, effective July 1, 2015)
On March 12, 2015, Arizona enacted legislation that requires the Arizona Department of Revenue to establish a “Tax Recovery Program” (amnesty) from September 1, 2015 through October 31, 2015. Qualified participants in the program will have civil taxpayer penalties and interest reduced or waived for unpaid liabilities on most taxes administered by the Department for any period ending before January 1, 2014 for annual filers, and before February 1, 2015 for all other filers. The program does apply to established and unpaid tax liabilities which have billing statements that have been issued by the Department. All taxes due must be paid during the program period. Taxpayers who have been party to any prior or current criminal tax proceedings are not eligible to participate. The Tax Recovery Program does not apply to Arizona’s luxury tax or withholding tax. (S.B. 1471)
Missouri has enacted a tax amnesty program from September 1, 2015, to November 30, 2015, from the assessment or payment of all penalties and interest on unpaid Missouri taxes or taxes due and owing reported and paid in full during the amnesty period. The amnesty applies to tax liabilities due or due but unpaid on or before December 31, 2014. Amnesty will only be granted to taxpayers who have applied for amnesty within the amnesty period, who have filed a tax return for each taxable period for which amnesty is requested, who have paid the entire balance by November 30, 2015, and who agree to comply with state tax laws for the next eight years from the date of the agreement. Taxpayers who are not compliant for the subsequent 8 years will owe all interest and penalty charges that were waived under the amnesty program. If a taxpayer is granted amnesty, the taxpayer will not be eligible to participate in any future amnesty for the same type of tax. No refund or credit will be available for any payments made under amnesty. Taxpayers who are party to a criminal proceeding are not eligible to participate. (H.B. 384, Laws 2015, effective April 27, 2015)
Maryland has enacted an amnesty period for delinquent taxpayers that will take place from September 1, 2015 to October 30, 2015. For qualified participants of the amnesty program, civil penalties and 50% of the interest due will be waived. The amnesty program is open to taxpayers that on or before December 31, 2014 failed to file a required personal income, corporate income, withholding, sales and use, or admission and amusement tax return. Under the program, qualified taxpayers can file returns and pay the delinquent tax, including 50% of the interest due; pay the tax and 50% of the interest due on a previously filed return; or enter into an agreement with the Comptroller to pay the tax and 50% of the interest due. Participants must pay the delinquent tax and 50% interest in full on or before December 31, 2016. The amnesty program does not apply to taxpayers that were granted amnesty under a Maryland program held between calendar year 1999 and calendar year 2014 or any taxpayers eligible for the July 1, 2004, through November 1, 2004, Settlement Period, as provided in Chapter 557 of the Acts of 2004 for tax periods prior to tax year 2003. In most circumstances a taxpayer filing under amnesty will not be charged with a criminal tax offense. (Ch. 50 (S.B. 763), Laws 2015, effective June 1, 2015, and applicable as noted above)
Massachusetts has enacted a two-month tax amnesty program beginning March 16, 2015 and ending May 15, 2015. The amnesty program applies to tax years or periods that were stated on a Notice of Assessment issued by the Commissioner of Revenue on or before January 1, 2015. The amnesty program is limited to eligible taxpayers with existing tax liabilities for tax types that were not included among the tax types covered by the amnesty established under Technical Information Release 14-8, August 25, 2014. The eligible tax types include all corporate excise tax imposed under G.L. c. 63 (corporate excise, financial institutions, insurance, public utilities, and banks), estate taxes imposed under G.L. c. 65C, fiduciary income taxes imposed under G.L. c. 62, and individual use tax on motor vehicles imposed under G.L. c. 64I. Taxpayers will be notified by the Commissioner if they are eligible to participate in the amnesty program. Under the program, if an eligible taxpayer pays the full amount of tax and interest due for any period as shown on the Tax Amnesty Notice, all unpaid penalties will be waived. This includes penalties imposed for failure to timely file a return; failure to file a proper return; underpayment of tax attributable to negligence or disregard of the tax laws or to a substantial understatement of tax; failure to timely pay a tax liability; failure to file, report or pay electronically; failure to pay the proper amount of any estimated tax payment; and failure to disclose an inconsistent filing position for such period. If an eligible taxpayer pays the full outstanding balance of tax and interest with respect to previously filed returns or assessments, the Commissioner may waive the unpaid penalties and the portion of interest charges directly attributable to those penalties for those tax periods. By participating in the program, the taxpayer waives the possibility of obtaining a refund of an amount paid pursuant to the amnesty program and of any right to contest liability for the amounts paid pursuant to amnesty. Corporate taxpayers must be in compliance with the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s filing requirements to be eligible for the program. Penalties that have been assessed or that could be assessed against a taxpayer for liabilities relating to tax types other than the eligible tax types are not eligible for waiver under the program. Eligible taxpayers who participate in the program will not be eligible to participate in future amnesty programs for 10 years. (Technical Information Release 15-2, Massachusetts Department of Revenue, March 16, 2015)