Corporate Close-Up: A NJ Tax Amnesty by Any Other Name Would Have the Same Outcome

New Jersey is offering a tax amnesty program (though N.J. refuses to call it as such) running Sept. 17 through Nov. 17, 2014. But this program is not called an amnesty because it does not require legislative approval, said Joseph Perone, Communications Director for the Treasury Department. Instead it’s an initiative within the statutory discretion of the Division of Taxation. Either way, waiver of penalties for all applicable participants!

New Jersey’s economy has been struggling, in part due to the recent closure of some of New Jersey’s Atlantic City casinos. New Jersey previously announced that it expected to fall $1.3 billion short of its revenue target for the fiscal year that ended June 30. The bond-rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded New Jersey’s debt, using unsound budgets and delayed pension fund contributions as reasons for the change. In light of these events, a tax amnesty (or ‘revenue creating incentive’) might be just what New Jersey needs. 

The last amnesty program in New Jersey was offered by Gov. Jon Corzine in 2009. The program brought in $725 million, more than three times the expected amount. The state expects to collect $275 million from this effort.

This program is applicable to outstanding tax liabilities from tax years 2005 through 2013 for both businesses and individuals. The program will waive penalties but not interest, and precludes either party from seeking further legal action once the closing agreement is in place. 

By Erica Parra

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