Massachusetts Enacts 2015 Tax Amnesty Program

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)

Posted on March 30, 2015