PA Launches Tax Amnesty

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Pennsylvania is running a Tax Amnesty Program until June 18, 2010.

Amnesty is available to taxpayers owing state taxes and related interest and penalties that were delinquent as of June 30, 2009. Taxpayers that have enrolled in deferred payment plans are also eligible, but only with respect to the unpaid portion of the liability. The Department has also indicated that taxpayers owing only interest and penalties will be eligible.

Taxes covered include personal income taxes, corporation taxes, sales and use taxes, and inheritance taxes. Local taxes are not covered, with the exception of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh local sales, use and hotel occupancy taxes.

Taxpayers wishing to participate in the program must file amnesty returns covering all delinquent periods, unless the delinquent tax is unknown to the Department. In that event, the taxpayer is only required to disclose liabilities dating back to July 1, 2004. The amnesty return must include all information that would otherwise be required to be filed on a standard return. A taxpayer that files the return and pays the tax and half the applicable interest will be excused from paying otherwise applicable penalties and the other 50% of the interest.

Participants in the program who fail to maintain compliance with Pennsylvania tax reporting and payment obligations may lose the penalty and interest forgiveness provided under the amnesty program. The Department will re-impose the forgiven amounts if either of the following occurs within two years following the conclusion of the program: (1) the taxpayer becomes delinquent for three consecutive periods for semi-monthly, monthly or quarterly filing or payment; or (2) the taxpayer becomes delinquent for more than 8 months on any filing of reports and/or payments due on an annual basis. In both cases, the delinquency is excused if the taxpayer has filed a timely judicial or administrative appeal.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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