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Jamie C. Yesnowitz
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Priya D. Nair
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The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts has announced that a tax amnesty program will be held from May 1 through June 29, 2018.1
The program applies to tax periods prior to January 1, 2018 and provides relief from penalties and interest on liabilities that have not been previously identified as due by the Comptroller.
Eligible Taxes and Taxpayers
In 2017, Texas enacted budget legislation that included a provision directing the Comptroller to establish a tax amnesty program for a limited duration.2
The legislation provides that the program should encourage voluntary reporting by:
- Delinquent taxpayers who do not have a Texas sales and use tax permit, or are not registered for a tax or fee administered by the Comptroller’s office; and
- Taxpayers who have a permit, but may have underreported or owe additional taxes or fees.
The program does not apply to periods currently under audit review, International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) taxes, Public Utility Commission (PUC) gross receipts assessments, local motor vehicle tax and unclaimed property payments. The Comptroller’s office has indicated that it will add further information concerning the program to its Web site.3
This is the first tax amnesty program that Texas has offered since 2012. In encouraging taxpayers to participate in the program, the Comptroller has explained that “there are no excuses necessary” for taxpayers who qualify for amnesty. Taxpayers who believe they owe any Texas taxes should review whether a potential outstanding tax liability may exist and if so, consider participating in the program to avoid interest and penalties. Because the amnesty program provisions in the legislation are general and the Comptroller’s announcement of the program dates does not provide much detail, taxpayers considering participation in the program should consult the Comptroller’s Web site as the commencement date of the amnesty approaches for further information. In some cases, taxpayers may decide that it is more advantageous to enter into a voluntary disclosure agreement (VDA) to address their prior year’s tax
State tax amnesty programs have been popular during the past two years. Taxpayers also should consider participation in the amnesty programs that currently are being offered by Connecticut,4
and Rhode Island.6
The information contained herein is general in nature and based on authorities that are subject to change. It is not intended and should not be construed as legal, accounting or tax advice or opinion provided by Grant Thornton LLP to the reader. This material may not be applicable to or suitable for specific circumstances or needs and may require consideration of nontax and other tax factors. Contact Grant Thornton LLP or other tax professionals prior to taking any action based upon this information. Grant Thornton LLP assumes no obligation to inform the reader of any changes in tax laws or other factors that could affect information contained herein. No part of this document may be reproduced, retransmitted or otherwise redistributed in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including by photocopying, facsimile transmission, recording, re-keying or using any information storage and retrieval system without written permission from Grant Thornton LLP.
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