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2016 Tax Amnesty Program in MA

April 05, 2016

Looking to catch up on back taxes and save on penalties? Find out if you’re eligible for MA’s Tax Amnesty Program.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has signed the state’s fiscal year 2016 budget, which approves a sixty-day tax amnesty program available for individuals who’ve failed to file a tax return in MA or have underreported the correct amount of tax due to the state.

More about the program

The program, set forth by the state’s Department of Revenue (DOR) is available to both individuals and businesses who:

  • Are not registered with the Dept. of Revenue
  • Have failed to file a tax return
  • Have not reported the full amount of tax owed on a return filed or due on or before 12/31/2015

The program is open from April 1st 2016 through May 31st 2016.

What kinds of taxes does the program apply to?

  • Sales and use
  • Corporate Excise
  • Individual Income

What are the benefits provided by the program?

Those participating in the 2016 Tax Amnesty Program will benefit from:

  • 3 year limited lookback period for taxpayers not previously contacted by the DOR
  • Waiver of penalties
  • Waiver of any interest due on penalties

Keep in mind that if you do not sign up for the tax amnesty program, you will subject yourself to the following risks:

  • No limited lookback period, which may require you to file and pay tax (including all interest and penalties for all years you neglected to file)
  • Six year lookback on previous returns containing underreported taxes
  • Tax amounts doubled for fraudulent returns
  • Tax amounts doubled for those who intentionally fail to file
  • Potential DOR penalties and interest on assessed penalties

Will the DOR be sending letters to eligible taxpayers?

he DOR will not be alerting applicable taxpayers of their eligibility or what taxes they might owe, but it is wise to consult your tax advisor to discuss your potential obligations. Once you know that you are eligible for the program, amnesty returns must be filed on the DOR’s webpage (Available starting April 1st). Payment in full must be made via the website at the time of filing.

Note: Although not required to remit the actual tax returns to the DOR, a taxpayer that files for amnesty is required to retain (not submit) copies of the completed tax returns for all tax years and tax types filed under the amnesty. Also retain all supporting documents which the DOR may request for verification purposes.

Contact any member of KLR’s State and Local Tax Group for guidance on your tax obligations.

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