Virginia offers Tax Amnesty Program for Certain Late Tax Return Filers and Payers

The Virginia Department of Taxation will offer an amnesty program with a period beginning on September 13, 2017 and ending on November 14, 2017. During the time frame for the amnesty program, assessments issued before June 15, 2017 are eligible and  will be considered paid in full upon payment of the full amount of the tax and one half of the interest due, thus having all penalties and one half of the accrued interest waived.  Liabilities due for delinquent returns related to an amnesty eligible period will be considered paid in full if the full amount of tax due and one half of the interest due is paid.

In general, individuals and businesses may participate in the amnesty program, in order to satisfy tax bills that have an assessment date on or before June 15, 2017 and/or file delinquent returns for taxes for the amnesty eligible period.  Returns must for the amnesty eligible periods, for example, corporate or individual tax returns must be for taxable years 2015 and prior. 

Any tax liability that was eligible for amnesty benefits but remains unpaid after the amnesty period will be subject to a 20% post-amnesty penalty.  The penalty applies to unpaid taxes only, not to outstanding balances of penalties or interest.  This penalty will be in addition to all other penalties.

Below is a highlight of a few of the amnesty eligible tax schemes and periods.  Please see this website for further details on other tax programs and eligible periods. 

Tax

Period Eligible for Amnesty

Corporate Income Tax Taxable Years 2015 and prior
Employer Income Tax Withholding Month of April 2017 and prior
Estate Tax Returns due by March 30, 2008 and prior
Fiduciary Income Tax Taxable Years 2015 and prior
Individual Income Tax Taxable Years 2015  and prior

 

An application form for amnesty is not required.  To receive benefits the taxpayer must pay all of the tax due and one half the interest for any amnesty eligible bill or delinquent return.  Benefits will be granted on a bill-by-bill or return-by-return basis.  A taxpayer may participate in the amnesty program to satisfy some, if not all, amnesty eligible bills or returns. 

Payments for bills with an assessment on or before June 15, 2017 must be postmarked by November 14, 2017 to qualify.  Any payments sent to the Virginia Department of Taxation without a specified bill number will be applied to bills that are amnesty eligible first, from smallest to largest amnesty amount due, and then to non-amnesty eligible bills newest to oldest.

Most taxpayers who are eligible for amnesty benefits will receive a notice through the mail. If an individual or business taxpayer has an outstanding tax bill or delinquent return that may be eligible and has NOT received a notice, the taxpayer should review the eligibility information provided in the link above. If the taxpayer has a copy of the outstanding bill from the Department, the taxpayer may access the secure QuickPay service, using the 5-digit bill number and a business ID number or social security number. The QuickPay service will allow taxpayers to research the status of their accounts in a free and secure Internet environment. If the taxpayer does NOT have a bill from the Department, the taxpayer may call the toll-free phone number 1-877-729-8829 (1-877- PAY VTAX).

The following are not eligible for amnesty benefits:

  1. Bills and accounts paid before September 13, 2017.
  2. Local tax assessments.
  3. Bills with an assessment date after June 15, 2017, with certain exceptions. (Please see the link above for details)

There are some special circumstances and special considerations, as well as particular addresses to which to send payments and returns participating in the amnesty program. If you have any questions regarding the information in this article, please contact our office at 703.385.8888 or .

© 2017


Written by: Erin Kidd, EA

Erin Kidd is the Tax Individual Practice Supervisor at Thompson Greenspon and has nearly a decade of tax experience specializing in individual taxation. Throughout her career, she has focused on simplifying complex tax issues and educating clients to maximize their tax benefits and plan for future events. Erin is responsible for the review of individual Federal and multi-state tax returns, managing the firm’s Military Spouse Remote Preparer Program, preparation of individual tax returns with international taxation and reporting requirements, and assisting with the resolution of client issues with Federal and State Taxing Authorities. 

Erin holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Morehead State University, is an Enrolled Agent, a federally licensed tax preparer who has unlimited rights to practice before the IRS, and an Accredited Financial Counselor ®. She has been recognized by the Garrison Commands of West Point, NY and Fort Leavenworth, KS for her contributions to the military community for her work with the installations’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Centers.


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