News and Insights

North Carolina Launches Trust Tax Recovery Program

Tax Development Feb 18, 2014

On February 5, 2014, the North Carolina Department of Revenue (the “Department”) began its Trust Tax Recovery Program, which offers amnesty to qualifying companies owing collected but unpaid trust taxes. The Department describes trust taxes as those taxes paid by a customer to a seller or withheld from an employee, and held in trust by the business until filed and paid to the Department. This broad definition encompasses taxes owed on motor vehicle leases and rentals, sales and use taxes, scrap tire and white goods disposal taxes, and certain other withholdings. Also included are use taxes collected on a remote sale to an individual in North Carolina. Use tax liability for certain transactions where tax was not paid to a seller at the time of purchase is not within the definition of trust taxes, as the tax is not the possession of the seller.

Qualified companies enrolled in the Trust Tax Recovery Program will be allowed to pay unpaid or non-filed taxes to the Department in installments. Upon full payment of such taxes, all penalties and fees will be waived. Interest accrued during the installment period is not waived. Eligible companies must not have defaulted or received penalty waivers for this program, the Small Business Counseling Program, or the Small Business Taxpayer Recovery Program to qualify and may not be currently facing criminal charges or be the subject of a criminal investigation by the Department.

For more information on the program, the Department of Revenue’s announcement is available at:


Jeremiah T. Lynch