Virginia Governor Authorizes New Tax Amnesty Program

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On February 20, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed a House Bill establishing a new tax amnesty program that will occur between June 30, 2017 and June 30 2018. Tax amnesty is an “opportunity for a specified group of taxpayers to pay a defined amount, in exchange for forgiveness of a tax liability (including interest and penalties) relating to a previous tax period or periods and without fear of criminal prosecution.” The program will run for a period of time ranging from 60-75 days. The specific dates and time period are yet to be determined by the Tax Commissioner.

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The program is subject to certain guidelines and exceptions, but will be available to most taxpayers who have failed to file a return or pay any tax administered by the Department. All civil or criminal penalties and one-half of the interest will be waived after payment of taxes and interest owed.

Taxpayers who are currently under investigation or prosecution for filing a fraudulent return, or for failing to file a return with the intent to evade tax, are not eligible to participate. The Program will not include individual or corporate income tax or estate and trust tax liabilities for tax years beginning after December 31, 2015. Taxpayers that have outstanding assessments dated less than 90 days prior to the first day of the Program or with any liability arising from a failure to file a return with a due date of less than 90 days prior to the first day of the Program will not be eligible to participate.

To determine the best option, you should review the new amnesty program guidelines and exceptions, as well as the existing Voluntary Disclosure Program to see which has the best benefits for your particular situation. For more information, please contact our office for a free consultation at 410-862-4675.

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