Individuals, businesses, and other entities that owe outstanding tax to Pennsylvania, can come forward through the Tax Amnesty Program to move into compliance with The Department of Revenue. The 2017 Pennsylvania Tax Amnesty Program, available from April 21, 2017 to June 19, 2017, is an opportunity for taxpayers to save money on their tax debt by minimizing or eliminating penalties and interest. Those who participate in the tax amnesty program can settle their debt obligations by paying the outstanding taxes and half of the interest due. The program will waive penalties and half the interest due if the taxpayer files the required application and is approved within the timeframe.

Why is this program important?

The Department of Revenue is giving taxpayers a break in an attempt to collect more of the outstanding taxes due. Pennsylvania rarely offers an amnesty program, the most recent one was in 2010 and before that, 1996. The Tax Amnesty Program is an opportunity to save a significant amount of money in both penalties and interest. Those who owe Pennsylvania taxes should strongly consider participating.

Who is Eligible?

Unfortunately, individuals, businesses and other entities that participated in the 2010 Tax Amnesty Program will be ineligible to participate for 2017.

Eligible periods for tax amnesty are those where a delinquency exists as of December 31, 2015, whether the delinquency is known or unknown to the department. Unpaid taxes due after December 31, 2015, are not eligible for the program. However, non-filed or under-reported taxes due after December 31, 2015 must be filed by June 19, 2017 to participate in the amnesty program.

Most taxes are eligible for the program, however, the Tax Amnesty Program does not apply to unemployment compensation because it is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

How is the Tax Amnesty Program different from the Voluntary Disclosure Program?

The Voluntary Disclosure Program provides an opportunity for businesses and individuals, who recently became aware of Pennsylvania tax obligations to come forward and pay their taxes voluntary. In exchange for coming forward the Department of Revenue will reduce or drop penalties. The key difference is, this program is only for tax payers who are not registered with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. This program is a chance to come forward before the Department of Revenue determines there is a debt and imposes penalties.

If you have questions regarding the 2017 Pennsylvania Tax Amnesty Program, please contact a member of the Barnes Dennig tax team by calling 513.241.8313 or by filling out this contact form.