Washington Enacts 2011 Amnesty Program

The Washington Department of Revenue has enacted a tax amnesty program that runs from February 1, 2011 through April 30, 2011. The amnesty program waives penalties and interest on delinquent state and local sales and use taxes, state business and occupation taxes, and state public utility taxes. Included in sales and use taxes are general retail sales and use taxes, rental car taxes, King County food and beverage tax, additional sales and use tax on sales and leases of motor vehicles, lodging taxes (not including tourism promotion area lodging charges), and brokered natural gas use tax. The program applies to tax liabilities that were due to the Department of Revenue before February 1, 2011. To qualify for the program, taxpayers must submit a completed application (available on the Department of Revenue website) and file all outstanding tax returns and any amended returns for which they are requesting a waiver by April 18, 2011. Once a taxpayer’s application has been approved, they must pay all tax due by April 30, 2011 on any invoice for which they are requesting a waiver. They must also pay penalties and interest on taxes not included in the amnesty program and pay filing and other fees on any tax warrant for which they’re requesting a waiver. Program participants must file and pay all tax returns on time during the amnesty period, and they waive their right to seek a refund or challenge the amount of taxes paid during the program. Both registered and unregistered businesses are eligible to participate in the program. Taxpayers are ineligible to participate if they have ever been assessed a penalty for evasion or misuse of a reseller permit or resale certificate, are in bankruptcy and payment of tax debt would violate federal bankruptcy laws, or if they have ever been prosecuted for failing to pay or collect the proper amount of any excise tax. Taxpayers who have filed and paid all tax returns as of November 25, 2010 are not eligible for amnesty on payments due after that date. Taxpayers who qualify for the program can request a quote from the Department of Revenue that shows how much they need to pay and how much they will save. To obtain an application visit http://dor.wa.gov/Content/DoingBusiness/RegisterMyBusiness/amnesty.aspx (Amnesty Program (Pay My Tax), Washington Department of Revenue, January 2011)

Posted on February 6, 2011