Louisiana will offer a tax amnesty from November 16, 2015 to December 15, 2015. Taxpayers that agree to pay delinquent taxes will receive a waiver of 33% of penalties and 17% of interest. The 2015 program applies to taxes due prior to January 1, 2015, for which the Louisiana Department of Revenue has issued an

From September 1, 2015, through October 30, 2015, the Comptroller of Maryland will administer a Tax Amnesty Program for tax periods beginning before December 31, 2014. Eligible taxpayers that participate in the Program will receive a waiver of certain civil penalties and a reduction of 50% of the interest associated with certain delinquent taxes. 

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In direct contradiction to the recent MetLife case, a different division of the Illinois Appellate Court held that a taxpayer was subject to the double interest amnesty penalty on its increased state tax liability resulting from federal audit changes. Marriott Intern. Inc. v. Hamer, 2012 IL App (1st) 111406 (Ill. App. Ct., 1st Dist., 3rd Div. Aug. 22, 2012). The MetLife case held that such penalties did not apply under nearly identical facts. Met. Life Ins. Co. v. Illinois Dep’t of Revenue, 2012 IL App (1st) 110400, at *1 (Ill. App. Ct. 1st Dist., 1st Div. Mar. 5, 2012).

A 2003 Illinois amnesty program provided amnesty to taxpayers who paid “all taxes due” for eligible tax years by November 2003. A double interest penalty applied for those taxpayers that had a tax liability eligible for amnesty but failed to pay it. Two months after the amnesty period ended, the Internal Revenue Service began an audit of Marriott that ultimately resulted in a 2007 revenue agent report (RAR), increasing Marriott’s federal taxable income. Marriott timely reported the federal RAR changes to Illinois and paid the resulting tax liability.


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On March 24, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 86 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review), a majority-vote bill, which includes a tax amnesty program for taxpayers with underreported income related to abusive tax avoidance transactions and offshore financial arrangements. The amnesty program—which is more stick than carrot—is part of a larger proposal to close the $26 billion gap between spending and revenue in the state budget, and is estimated to raise roughly $200 million due in large part to accelerated revenues. This revenue estimate is as likely to materialize as an Easter bunny carrying a copy of State Taxation (by Jerome and Walter Hellerstein) at your next family picnic.

The tax amnesty program—referred to as Voluntary Compliance Initiative Two (VCI II)—offers a 91-day amnesty period from August 1, 2011, through October 31, 2011, for personal and corporate income taxpayers with liabilities derived from abusive tax avoidance transactions and offshore financial arrangements related to taxable years prior to January 1, 2011, and tax deficiencies that are not final as of July 31, 2011.


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Ever the trendsetter, California is hip to transparency and has posted proposed budget trailer bill language on the Department of Finance Web site, www.dof.ca.gov. The language confirms what taxpayers already knew: A target is on their backs as budget negotiations begin. The tax provisions specific to business taxpayers include a repeal of California’s Enterprise Zone Program and all related credit carryovers; mandatory single sales factor apportionment; mandatory market sourcing; tax shelter amnesty; and a financial institutions records match (FIRM) program. Other language includes a legislative constitutional amendment to extend current tax rates for five years. All of these proposals require a two-thirds legislative vote. However, the tax shelter amnesty and FIRM provisions could be enacted with a mere majority vote.


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The Washington legislature has enacted the state’s first-ever amnesty program. The legislation (L. 2010, SB6892) allows the Department of Revenue to waive most interest and penalties on delinquent state and local sales and use tax, state business and occupation (B&O) taxes, and state public utility taxes. The amnesty program began on February 1, 2011, and will end on April 30, 2011.  Washington expects the program to generate $24.4 million for the state and $3.9 million for local governments.


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