Department of Revenue Friday announced the launch of a Tax Amnesty program. Eligible individuals and businesses can apply now through June 19, 2017 to pay past-due state taxes and have all penalties and half of the interest waived.
Delinquent taxpayers from all Pennsylvania counties and every U.S. state owe $3.47 billion in Pennsylvania taxes that may be eligible for the Tax Amnesty program. Of that total, $1.1 billion is delinquent from 2005 and earlier, $889 million is under appeal, and $2.2 billion represents delinquent tax and with rest interest, penalties, and fees.
Approximately 21 percent of delinquent taxpayers are from out of state, including 68,700 taxpayers in Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and West Virginia.
Businesses owe 65 percent of the back taxes in corporation taxes, employer withholding taxes and sales tax. Delinquent sales tax accounts for 26 percent of the total.
Individuals and businesses that participated in the 2010 Tax Amnesty are ineligible for this program.
“The overwhelming majority of individuals and businesses pay their state taxes on time, but for those living with the burden of unpaid taxes, this program is an opportunity to get relief,” said Deputy Secretary for Tax Policy C. Daniel Hassell. “The application process is easy, but time is critical as this opportunity only lasts 60 days.”
Act 84 of 2016 authorized a tax amnesty to net an estimated $100 million for the current year fiscal budget. Pioneer Credit Recovery is assisting the Department of Revenue with the administration of the program under requirements established by state law and the department.
Most individuals and businesses are eligible if they have unfiled tax returns, or unpaid or underpaid taxes due by the end of 2015. More than 30 state taxes administered by the department are eligible with some restrictions.
The Department of Revenue is mailing letters to approximately 800,000 known delinquent taxpayers with information about how to participate. As an incentive to those who have been flying under the radar, individuals and businesses with tax liabilities unknown to the department only have to file and pay taxes dating back to Jan. 1, 2011.
All tax amnesty payments must be made in full by June 19. Payments will be accepted by check, money order, credit/debit card or electronic funds transfer.
Adding to the urgency of the program, eligible individuals and businesses that fail to take advantage of the Tax Amnesty program will receive a 5 percent penalty on their unpaid amnesty eligible delinquencies after the program.
Those who owe back tax are encouraged to visit www.backtax.pa.gov or by call the toll-free hotline 844-PA-STATE-TAX (1-844-727-8283) from 8:00 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday, from 8:00 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Fridays, and 8:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.
New Revenue SecretaryWith the successful launch of the program, Revenue Secretary Eileen McNulty is retiring. Gov. Tom Wolf has named Hassell as acting secretary of revenue effective at the close of business.