Are you still considering whether to take advantage of the current amnesty program? Designed as a way for online sellers to become compliant in states they may have created nexus (either intentionally or inadvertently), the voluntary program provides an opportunity for these businesses to come forward if they haven’t been collecting income, franchise, use or sales tax.
The program originally was going to end on October 17. However, on October 11, the MTC voted to extend the application deadline to November 1. So contact us soon for help registering for this program!
How the Amnesty Program Works
Online marketplace and ecommerce sellers (particularly those using fulfillment services such as “Fulfillment by Amazon” or FBA) with outstanding sales and income tax liabilities use the Multistate Tax Commission’s Voluntary Disclosure Agreement to become tax compliant, and the participating states waive the fines and penalties for which sellers would generally be responsible. In several cases they are also waiving the tax itself! Continue reading →
Here’s an example of how tricky amnesty programs can be.
If you saw our blog post last week, you know that there is a lot of amnesty program activity taking place right now. Although there are benefits to these types of programs, we have some objections to the way they work, including:
A client fact pattern often needs to fit exactly into the state’s amnesty time window to be effective.
The types of taxes considered under the amnesty can be limited and may not encompass our client’s entire picture.
The rules for an amnesty program tend to be fairly rigid, not offering much leniency for either overpayments or underpayments.
Check out last week’s post for more detail. In the meantime, read on for an instance of how difficult amnesty programs can be. Continue reading →
We are seeing a lot of amnesty program activity taking place among the states right now. So what is an “amnesty program”? It is a specific initiative determined by a state’s legislature and governor, where delinquent taxpayers can come forward, make themselves known to the state, and file tax returns (and pay taxes) on specific taxes that the state designates through the program. An amnesty limits the taxable period covered, (e.g. all taxes due before 1/1/13), and the time period for coming forward (e.g. the taxpayer must come forward between 9/1 – 10/15/15 to be eligible).
The benefit to an amnesty program is it allows taxpayers to come forward voluntarily for back taxes. The understanding is that the taxpayer comes forward and the state will generally waive penalties and interest; it’s a method of bringing companies into compliance in a non-punitive way.