News and Insights

Texas Launches New Amnesty Program: Project Fresh Start

Tax Development Mar 20, 2012

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Susan Combs (“Comptroller”) launched Project Fresh Start, an amnesty program (“Program”) aimed at collecting delinquent taxes owed by Texas businesses. The Program will run from June 12, 2012 to August 17, 2012, during which time taxpayers can pay past due taxes in full and receive waiver of penalty and interest charges normally assessed. Amnesty applies to taxes that were due any time before April 1, 2012. Failure to participate in the Program will not result in penalty or interest assessments beyond those ordinarily assessed by the Comptroller.

Amnesty is available for franchise tax, sales and use tax, and all other state and local taxes and fees administered by the Comptroller, except unclaimed property and Public Utility Commission (PUC) gross receipts assessments. (Property and sports and community venue taxes are not included because they are not administered by the Comptroller.) Taxpayers eligible for amnesty include those who did not file a return or report; misrepresented, understated, or omitted any tax liability on a previously filed return; or erroneously claimed credits or deductions.

Amnesty is not available for assessments already identified by the Comptroller, underpaid returns (i.e., tax that was reported but not paid), taxpayers currently under audit or review, or taxpayers already contacted by the Comptroller regarding an audit. Further, amnesty is not available for a taxpayer who has signed a settlement agreement or voluntary disclosure agreement before the beginning of the amnesty period.