On Monday, Sept 28, Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine announced a tax amnesty program to be administered by the Virginia Department of Taxation. The Commonwealth aims to collect $48 million during the very short amnesty period.

The program runs from October 7, 2009 to December 5, 2009. Most, but not all, taxpayers who are delinquent are eligible for the program. The Department of Taxation is sending about 550,000 notices to households and businesses with outstanding tax bills.

During the amnesty period, all the penalties and half of the interest will be waived if the tax is paid in full. That is the “carrot.” The “stick” is that “amnesty-eligible” taxes that are not paid in full are subject to an additional 20% penalty.

The legistation establishing the program is slightly over one page long. The guidelines for the program are about 13 pages long. As one might imagine, the guidelines try to cover most possible situations, and, therefore, can be somewhat confusing.

Questions one might have include:
What happens if you already have an installment plan?
What happens if you have an offer in compromise pending?
What happens if you have unfiled tax returns?
Does the amnesty program apply to payroll taxes?
Does the amnesty program apply to income taxes?

If you or someone you know has unpaid taxes and has a question about the amnesty program, contact my office. If you  receive an amnesty notice, do NOT delay. Seek professional guidance to help you determine your options.