2017 Pennsylvania Tax Amnesty Program

By Freed Maxick Tax Team on May, 24 2017
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Freed Maxick Tax Team

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From time to time, states offer Tax Amnesty Programs. A tax amnesty program is a limited time opportunity for certain taxpayers to come forward with unpaid tax liabilities in exchange for waiver of penalties and sometimes interest or some portion thereof. These are good revenue raisers for the states.

Pennsylvania has currently enacted a tax amnesty program. This is a good time for taxpayers that have unpaid tax liabilities to come forward and pay their Pennsylvania tax liabilities. The tax amnesty period is only for a limited time, running from April 21, 2017 to June 19, 2017.

What Taxes are Eligible?

  • Eligible Pennsylvania taxes include those administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, which are due as of December 31, 2015.
  • Some examples of eligible taxes include Corporate Net Income Tax, Capital Stock or Foreign Franchise Tax, and Sales and Use Tax.
  • Non-filed tax returns or reports, as well as unpaid, under-reported or un-established taxes, whether known or unknown to the Pennsylvania, constitute eligible delinquencies.

Who is Eligible for the 2017 Pennsylvania Tax Amnesty Program?

Individuals, businesses, and other entities with Pennsylvania tax delinquencies as of December 31, 2015, are generally eligible to participate in the program.

The following taxpayers do not qualify for the program:

  • Taxpayers currently under criminal investigation for an alleged violation of any tax law;
  • Taxpayers, who prior to the amnesty period, have been named as a defendant in a criminal complaint alleging a violation of any law imposing a tax administered by the Department;
  • Taxpayers who are defendants in a pending criminal action for an alleged violation of any law imposing an eligible tax;
  • Taxpayers who currently have a signed voluntary disclosure agreement covering periods eligible for the 2017 Amnesty Program; or
  • Taxpayers who participated in the 2010 Pennsylvania Tax Amnesty Program.

What Are the Benefits?

  • Pennsylvania will waive all the penalties, collection and lien fees, and half of the interest for any taxpayer who participates in the Tax Amnesty Program.
  • In some instances the penalties and interest can be more than the tax owed.
  • Pennsylvania will rescind liens or other enforcement actions for the eligible debt.
  • If a taxpayer is eligible for the Tax Amnesty Program but chooses not to participate, a 5% non-participation penalty will be added to the balance due and the taxpayer may be subject to other enforcement actions.

How to Participate in the 2017 Pennsylvania Tax Amnesty Program:

  • To participate, taxpayers must file an online Amnesty Return, file all delinquent tax returns, and make the required payment within the Amnesty Period.
  • If the taxpayer has unpaid taxes or unfiled returns for periods not eligible for Amnesty (due after December 31, 2015), those periods must be filed for the taxpayer’s participation in the program to be approved.

There is a limited window on this program. Taxpayers with unpaid Pennsylvania liabilities who desire to take advantage of the program should do so quickly. Please contact a member of the Freed Maxick SALT Team for assistance with the 2017 Pennsylvania Tax Amnesty Program.

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