The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) has issued an Announcement and an FAQ describing its new tax amnesty program. The program will be open for enrollment beginning April 1, 2016 and enrollment and submission of information to the DOR will run through May 31, 2016. The program will cover almost all kinds of taxes whose returns were due before January 1, 2016. The amnesty tax return will be accessible online through the DOR’s main web page (www.mass.gov/dor), then clicking on “MA TAX AMNESTY 2016” and following the links that will (on or before April 1st) be posted on that page.
Based on the Announcement and FAQ, the program appears to be expansive and reasonably generous – for example, penalties would be waived, and nonfilers would have only the last three non-filed years opened for taxation (rather than the more common seven previous years, or the legally permissible unlimited non-filed years however long ago they occurred). The program applies to complete nonfilers, to taxpayers who have missed filing in particular years, and taxpayers who filed but did not report the correct amount of tax.
Taxpayers who have been the subject of tax-related criminal investigation or criminal prosecution, taxpayers who have previously filed knowingly fraudulent or false returns, and taxpayers who participated in the 2014 or 2015 amnesty programs would not be eligible.
Taxpayers who participate in the 2016 amnesty program will be prohibited from participating in later amnesty programs between 2015 and 2025.
Click here to read the DOR’s FAQ about the program and the DOR’s original Announcement. Interested readers should pay particular attention to the “How To Prepare” section of the original Announcement and, also, items 13 and 14 of the FAQ.
About the Author
Jonathan Davis represents clients in tax law (domestic and international), estate planning (domestic and international), compensation planning, business transactions, and probate. His practice also includes “business divorces” and disputes over estates and trusts.