United States

Massachusetts DOR issues additional guidance regarding amnesty program

TAX ALERT  | 

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue has issued guidance announcing that the state’s 2016 amnesty program will take place between April 1, 2016 and May 31, 2016. The amnesty program was created under Massachusetts FY 2016 State Budget (H.B. 3650), which was signed into law in July, 2015. Unlike past programs, in which eligibility was limited to taxpayers with existing tax liabilities, the 2016 amnesty program will apply to non-filers. 

Amnesty Program Details

Under the program, the department will allow for the waiver of tax penalties and any interest due on those penalties for all tax types administered by the department (with the exception of preferred provider excise tax and taxes covered under the International Fuel Tax Agreement), without a showing of reasonable cause or the absence of willful neglect. The program is open to any individual or business who is not currently registered with the department, who has not filed a tax return, or who has not reported the full amount of tax owed on a previously filed return for any tax return due on or before Dec. 31, 2015.

Furthermore, participants in the amnesty will benefit from a three-year limited lookback period.  However, the 2016 amnesty program does not cover existing tax liabilities, and taxpayers who participated in the 2014 or 2015 tax amnesties are not eligible for the same tax types or tax periods for the 2016 amnesty.

Procedure

The department will allow for the filing of online amnesty returns through its website starting on Apr. 1, 2016.  The department will calculate the interest for each tax period for the taxpayer, and provide the total amnesty balance due. Taxpayers must submit an electronic payment for the balance due with the amnesty return. 

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