Overview

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue believes that voluntary compliance is the cornerstone of our tax system. The goal of the Department is to ensure that all taxpayers living in Massachusetts or doing business in Massachusetts are registered, collecting and paying the taxes they are obligated to pay.

In an effort to further increase compliance and foster cooperation, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue has a Voluntary Disclosure Program for taxpayers who wish to report previously unpaid tax liabilities. It is an opportunity for taxpayers to come forward voluntarily in a user-friendly and informal process.

Criteria

  • The taxpayer has had no previous contact by the Department of Revenue relating to the issues of the voluntary disclosure.
  • The taxpayer is not registered for the tax type involved in the disclosure.
  • The tax has not been collected.

Program Highlights

  • Informal Process.
  • Taxpayer can come forward anonymously.
  • Waiver of penalties for qualified taxpayers.
  • Spreadsheets are acceptable for transaction taxes (Sales/Use, Withholding, Meals, etc.).
  • Limited "look back" period of 3 years for qualified taxpayers as set forth in TIR 03-17.

Process

The initial contact on most voluntary disclosures is a letter from the representative giving a brief general description of the company's activities and what the company is seeking by coming forward.

The letter should include the following:

  • The principal location (state) of the business and the state of incorporation.
  • A general description of the business activities and the activities in Massachusetts.
  • Which tax type(s) the taxpayer is looking to file.
  • The terms the taxpayer is seeking in coming forward.

The Department will respond with a letter outlining the Department's position. At that time the company can decide whether or not to disclose.

Other Programs

  • Combined Remittance Agreements
  • Voluntary Use Tax Agreements

Multistate Tax Commission

  • If the taxpayer has liability in more than one state it may consider applying for multi-state voluntary disclosure through the Multistate Tax Commission. More information about the MTC's Voluntary Disclosure Program and the application for Multi-state Voluntary Disclosure is available at its website: http://www.mtc.gov/Nexus.aspx.

For these programs, please contact the Voluntary Disclosure Unit either in writing or by phone.

Contact Information

Massachusetts Department of Revenue
Voluntary Disclosure Unit
200 Arlington Street, Room 4300
Chelsea, MA 02150
Attn: Patrick Shirley

Patrick Shirley
Bureau of Desk Audit
Massachusetts Department of Revenue
PHONE: 617-887-6725
FAX : 617-660-1654
E-mail: shirleyp@dor.state.ma.us