Massachusetts issues guidance on tax amnesty

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue has established a two-month tax amnesty program beginning on September 1, 2014, ending October 31, 2014, to encourage the payment of delinquent tax obligations to the Commonwealth. The amnesty program will apply to tax years or periods that were stated on a Notice of Assessment issued by the Commissioner of Revenue on or before July 1, 2014, and does apply to withholding. The Commissioner will notify taxpayers of their eligibility to participate in the program. Only those taxpayers to whom a “Tax Amnesty Notice” has been issued will be eligible.
Under the amnesty program, if a taxpayer is notified by the Commissioner that the taxpayer is eligible, and the taxpayer pays the full amount of tax and interest due for any period as shown on the Tax Amnesty Notice, the Commissioner is authorized to waive all unpaid penalties, including those 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; and failure to pay the proper amount of any estimated tax payment for such period.

When an eligible taxpayer pays the full outstanding balance of tax and interest with respect to previously filed returns or assessments, the Commissioner will waive the unpaid penalties (and the portion of interest charges directly attributable to those penalties) as to that taxpayer for those tax periods. The guidance addresses the amnesty period, participation in the program, eligibility requirements, payment requirements, the scope of amnesty, and administration of the program. (Massachusetts Department of Revenue Technical Information Release (TIR 14-8), August 25, 2014;
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