Press Room: Tax Release

September 09, 2014

Massachusetts Announces Limited Amnesty Program for Taxpayers with Personal or Business Tax Liabilities

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue recently announced the launch of a limited two month amnesty program, giving individuals the chance to pay outstanding taxes due to the Commonwealth while also avoiding potentially large penalties.

The amnesty program will apply to two groups of eligible taxpayers. The first group includes individuals with existing personal income tax, use tax, boat and recreational vehicles sales tax, or cigarette excise tax liabilities. The second group includes taxpayers with a variety of non-corporate business tax liabilities, such as sales and use tax, meals tax, withholding income, passthrough entity withholding and various Massachusetts excise taxes.

Taxpayers should be aware that the scope of the program is limited in that they are only eligible if they have been previously assessed by the Department of Revenue for unpaid taxes. Eligible taxpayers will be notified by the Department of their eligibility to participate in the program through a tax amnesty notice. If the taxpayer pays the full amount of tax and interest due for the periods in question, the Department of Revenue will waive all penalties for unpaid taxes.

The amnesty program will run for a brief two month period, from September 1, 2014 through October 31, 2014. The program applies to assessed and/or unpaid tax liabilities for tax periods stated on assessments issued by the Department of Revenue on or before July 1, 2014.

Taxpayers who enter the program should be mindful of some additional requirements in order for all penalties to be waived. Amnesty payments made online will be considered timely only if received by 5:00 pm on October 31, 2014. If payments are sent by U.S. mail or a private carrier after October 31, 2014, they will be considered timely if postmarked on or before October 31, 2014. Should taxpayers choose to participate in this amnesty program, they will not be eligible to participate in any future amnesty programs for the next 10 years, beginning with the 2015 tax year.

Massachusetts taxpayers who have unpaid tax liability and who have received a tax amnesty notice from the Department of Revenue should act now to take advantage of this beneficial program. The penalty abatement should be a strong incentive to comply under this initiative.