Corporate Close-Up: Is Tax Amnesty a Trend for 2015?

Tax amnesty programs will launch in two states in 2015 with more jurisdictions likely to follow if pending legislation is any guide.

Both Massachusetts and Louisiana have previously enacted legislation requiring tax amnesties during the 2015 Tax Year. Louisiana’s amnesty program will be held at some point between July 1 and Dec. 31. Massachusetts is offering a tax amnesty from March 16 through May 15. Both states are waiving some or all of the penalties and interest for full compliance with the program.

Louisiana is offering a program similar to the one they offered in 2014, except the state is reducing the amount of penalties and interest that can be waived--offering only a 33 percent penalty waiver and a 17 percent interest waiver. Massachusetts is offering to waive all penalties so long as a full payment of taxes and interest are paid by the program end date.

Legislative proposals pending in other states suggest that other jurisdictions will likely follow the amnesty trend: Arizona, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, and South Carolina all have bills pending that would offer tax amnesty.

The chart below shows the key aspects of pending amnesty bills as of March 27, 2015.