Virginia Unveils Blueprint for Its FY 2010 Amnesty Program, Plays Hardball With Nonparticipants

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By Galit Allemeier

Virginia will waive all penalties plus 50 percent of interest on outstanding tax liabilities paid under a tax amnesty program scheduled to run some time between July 1, 2009, and June 30, 2010. [S.B. 1120, enacted 3/27/09]

Under S.B. 1120, the exact dates will be established by the tax commissioner, but the legislation specifies that the program will run between 60 and 75 days.
The program is available for tax years beginning before Jan. 1, 2008, and applies to any person, individual, corporation, estate, trust or partnership, with the following exceptions:

• taxpayers currently under investigation or prosecution for filing a fraudulent return or failing to file a return with the intent to evade tax; and
• taxpayers facing an assessment within 90 days of the amnesty program or a liability arising from the failure to file a return for which the due date is less than 90 days prior to the first day of the program.

Taxpayers eligible for amnesty but who retain any outstanding balance after the close of the program will be subject to a 20 percent penalty on the unpaid tax in addition to all otherwise applicable penalties.

Moreover, any taxpayer that defaults on an amnesty agreement is subject to reinstatement of the forgiven interest and penalties as well as the additional 20 percent amnesty penalty described above.

The legislation takes effect July 1.

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