by Barry L Weller, EA
While the vast majority of taxpayers file and pay their Pennsylvania taxes on time, some taxpayers become delinquent for various reasons. Act 84 of 2016 established the Pennsylvania Tax Amnesty Program which began on April 21, 2017 and will end on June 19, 2017. All taxes owed to the Commonwealth that are administered by the PA Department of Revenue are eligible for the Amnesty Program. The eligible tax periods are for delinquencies that existed as of December 31, 2015. By participating in the Program, all penalties, collection and lien fees will be waived. Additionally, half of the interest due on the delinquent taxes will also be waived.
Taxpayers who are eligible for Tax Amnesty are …
Individuals and businesses with unpaid or underpaid PA taxes as of 12/31/2015
Taxpayers who did not file tax returns for tax periods on or before 12/31/2015
Taxpayers who are not eligible to participate in this program are …
Any taxpayer who participated in the 2010 PA Tax Amnesty Program
Any taxpayer who is in bankruptcy (unless the Bankruptcy Court grants permission)
Any taxpayer with a voluntary disclosure agreement for periods eligible for amnesty
More than 30 state taxes administered by the PA Department of Revenue are eligible for this program. Some of those taxes are Corporate Net Income Tax, Personal Income Tax, Sales and Use Tax, Inheritance Tax, Employer Withholding, Cigarette Tax, Realty Transfer Tax, Motor Fuels Tax.
The taxes that are not included in this Amnesty program include PA Unemployment Compensation, taxes imposed and administered from another state, local income taxes, property taxes, federal taxes.
The procedures for participating in the Tax Amnesty Program are …
If the Department of Revenue knows of a taxpayer’s delinquency, they will contact the taxpayer via a letter and then possibly a phone call to make the taxpayer aware of the program and inform the taxpayer of their responsibility to participate and comply with the rules and regulations. Failure of a taxpayer to do so will result in an additional 5% penalty being added to their liability as well as other enforcement actions.
If not contacted by the Department of Revenue, apply online via the PA Department of Revenue’s website. Then, file all eligible tax returns and make the required payment by midnight 6/19/17.
Lastly, there are ongoing requirements for participants of this program. First, participants must remain current for two years following their participation in the program. If they don’t remain current, they may be required to pay all of the waived penalties and interest. Second, participants who have not filed PA returns back to 1/1/2011 must file for each period. Third, participants with an appeal of a tax liability that is eligible for amnesty must withdraw their appeal with the Board of Appeals, Board of Finance and Revenue or with the Commonwealth Court.
Barry L Weller, EA is the president of Barry Weller & Associates with offices at 216 E Philadelphia Ave, Boyertown, PA 19512 Phone (610) 367-8280 He is an enrolled agent, licensed to represent taxpayers before the IRS. Revised 4/25/2017