For Immediate Release - March 16, 2015

Tax Amnesty Program for Qualified Massachusetts Taxpayers

Sixty-day tax amnesty program to begin March 16

(Boston, MA) – The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) today announced a 60-day amnesty program authorized by the Legislature designed to encourage the payment of delinquent taxes. The amnesty program will run from March 16 through May 15 and applies to certain tax liabilities billed on or before January 1, 2015.

Approximately 24,000 qualifying taxpayers will receive a Tax Amnesty Notice from the Department of Revenue this week notifying them that they qualify for the tax amnesty program. Notices will include individual period balances, the amount of unpaid penalty to be waived if the amnesty balance is paid in full by the due date and the amnesty amount due. Taxpayers who qualify for the amnesty program have already been billed by DOR for their outstanding tax liability. Under the program, DOR will waive all assessed, unpaid penalties for taxpayers who respond by making a full payment on all outstanding taxes and interest for any period listed on the notice by the May 15 deadline.

“This is an opportunity for taxpayers who are delinquent on their taxes, and were not included in the 2014 amnesty, to step up and pay their tax debt to support critical government services,” said Commissioner Amy Pitter. “These taxpayers can catch up and pay their fair share without additional penalties.”

The amnesty program covers a variety of eligible tax types not included in the amnesty program completed in October, 2014 such as corporate excise (including financial institutions, insurance, public utilities, and banks), estate taxes, fiduciary income taxes and individual use tax on motor vehicles.

Qualifying taxpayers may pay the amnesty balance through DOR’s online services by making electronic payments using a credit card or electronic withdrawal from a checking or savings account. A taxpayer may choose to pay by check but must enclose the payment coupon attached to the amnesty notice and postmark the mailing by May 15, 2015.

Taxpayers who have entered into a payment agreement with DOR prior to the start of the amnesty period will qualify to participate, as will taxpayers with pending appeals who withdraw their appeals. The amnesty will not be extended to taxpayers who have already paid outstanding taxes and interest and only owe penalties, taxpayers who have signed settlement agreements or taxpayers who are the subject of a tax-related criminal investigation or prosecution.

Taxpayers who participate in the amnesty program waive their rights to a refund of any amounts paid as a result of the amnesty program and waive their rights to contest liability for any amounts included in the amnesty. Taxpayers who participate in this program will not be eligible for any future tax amnesty programs for 10 years. 

Corporate taxpayers must be in compliance with the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s filing requirements to be eligible. 

Taxpayers with outstanding tax obligations not covered by the tax amnesty, that may be facing economic hardship, should communicate with DOR as soon as possible. “A payment agreement may be a very good option for taxpayers who are experiencing economic difficulties,” said Commissioner Pitter. “Agreeing to a realistic monthly amount based on the taxpayer’s economic circumstances is beneficial to the taxpayer and DOR.”

DOR has set up a webpage with specific information about the amnesty including a Technical Information Release and Frequently Asked Questions at Taxpayers may also call DOR Customer Service at 617-887-6367 or toll free in Massachusetts at 800-392-6089.