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Massachusetts Considers Tax Amnesty Program


 A proposed tax amnesty program in Massachusetts could help close FY 2015 budget gap.

Update 3.16.2015: The Massachusetts tax amnesty program begins today, March 16, 2015. It will conclude on May 15, 2015. For additional information, please see the DOR press release and What You Need to Know About the Tax Amnesty Program.

A 60-day tax amnesty program has been proposed to help close the budget gap Massachusetts is facing in Fiscal Year 2015. If approved, participating taxpayers will have to pay their full liabilities by June 30, 2015.

Governor Charlie Baker (R) applauded the House of Representatives for its quick passage of HB 52, saying, “We look forward to swift action by members of the Senate and to working closely with both houses in the future on a commitment to craft a fiscally responsible and sustainable budget plan for next year that continues to protect local aid and Massachusetts taxpayers.”

The tax commissioner would be granted authority to determine the scope of the program, “including the particular tax types and periods covered,” so long as corporate excise tax is included.

If the amnesty is approved, it would allow the waiving of all penalties “that could be assessed by the commissioner … without the need for any showing by the taxpayer of reasonable cause or the absence of willful neglect for the failure of the taxpayer to:

  • timely file any proper return for any tax type and for any tax period
  • file proper returns which report the full amount of the taxpayer’s liability for any tax period
  • timely pay any tax liability
  • pay the proper amount of any required estimated payment toward a tax liability"

Additional details are available in HB 52.

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Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.