Indiana Governor Mike Pence recently announced that the Indiana Department of Revenue will conduct a Tax Amnesty program from September 15 through November 16, 2015. According to the Department of Revenue, “Tax Amnesty 2015 is a limited-time opportunity for both individuals and businesses to pay past-due base tax liabilities free of penalty, interest, and collection fees.” Once a taxpayer pays the owed base tax, the state will waive penalties, interest, and collection fees for eligible liabilities; release tax liens that have been imposed on existing liabilities; and not seek civil or criminal prosecution against any individual or entity. Signed into law by Governor Pence in May of 2015, the program was authorized by the biennial budget in House Enrolled Act 1001.
The 2015 Tax Amnesty applies to approximately forty different types of existing tax liabilities administered by the Indiana Department of Revenue for the periods ending before January 1, 2013, including sales and use tax, adjusted gross income tax, as well as many excise taxes.
Individuals and businesses with existing claims from that time period are eligible; however, taxpayers who participated in the 2005 tax amnesty program are not eligible. Prior to participating in the program, taxpayers should understand that they must agree to waive all rights to protest the assessment and are not allowed to later file a claim for refund.
In 2005, Indiana collected $244 million in taxes through its initial tax amnesty program. This year, the Department estimates that there could be $545 million in outstanding liabilities that could be eligible for collection during the program.
Taxpayers with pending assessments or otherwise unresolved tax issues should evaluate whether or not amnesty is an advantageous avenue for resolution.