News and Insights

Massachusetts Tax Amnesty Program 2014

Tax Development Sep 03, 2014

The Massachusetts Commissioner of Revenue (“Commissioner”) established a two-month amnesty program from September 1, 2014 through October 31, 2014, pursuant to authority granted in Section 264 of Chapter 165 of the Acts of 2014.

The Tax Amnesty Program (“Program”) applies to tax years or periods listed on a Notice of Assessment issued by the Commissioner on or before July 1, 2014. Only taxpayers that are issued a Tax Amnesty Notice will be eligible for the Program. The Program applies to the following taxpayers and tax types:

  1. Individuals with existing personal income tax liabilities, existing personal use tax liabilities, existing personal boat/recreational vehicles sales tax liabilities, and existing cigarette excise liabilities (purchases for individual consumption); and
  2. Taxpayers with the following existing business tax liabilities:
    • Sales and/or use tax;
    • Meals tax and the local option meals tax;
    • Withholding tax;
    • Performer withholding tax;
    • Pass-through entity withholding tax;
    • Lottery annuity withholding tax;
    • Room occupancy excise tax and the local option room occupancy excise tax;
    • Convention center financing fees on room occupancy in Boston, Cambridge, Chicopee, Springfield, West Springfield, and Worcester;
    • Convention center financing surcharge for sightseeing tours;
    • Convention center financing surcharge on vehicle rentals in Boston;
    • Convention center financing surcharge on parking in Boston, Springfield, and Worcester;
    • Deeds excise tax;
    • Cigarette excise tax;
    • Cigars and smoking tobacco excise tax;
    • Club alcohol beverage excise tax;
    • Gasoline excise tax;
    • Special fuels excise tax and the local option special fuels excise tax.

Following receipt of a Tax Amnesty Notice, eligible taxpayers who make a full payment of all tax and interest due under the Program for a qualifying tax type will be granted amnesty for unpaid penalties associated with such tax type and period. Payment must be received by the Department of Revenue by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on October 31, 2014, or postmarked on or before October 31, 2014.

The following taxpayers are not eligible for the Program:

  • Taxpayers subject to a tax-related criminal investigation or prosecution;
  • Taxpayers that deliver or disclose any false or fraudulent information in connection with the Program;
  • Taxpayers who previously signed a settlement agreement with the Commissioner;
  • Taxpayers who previously paid tax and interest due under an assessment but are currently disputing penalties under the assessment.

Additional information is provided in the Massachusetts Department of Revenue Technical Information Release 14-8.


Jeremiah T. Lynch