On May 1, 2018, the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts (the “Comptroller”) began its first tax amnesty program in six years. The Texas Tax Amnesty Program (the “Program”) runs from May 1, 2018 to June 29, 2018 and covers all state and local taxes and fees administered by the Comptroller, including Texas franchise tax and sales/use taxes. The Program applies to all tax reports originally due before January 1, 2018, and is designed to allow participants who are not under audit and have not been notified of an audit to “wipe the slate clean” by filing all past due reports or by amending reports that underreported taxes. Program participants benefit from a 100% waiver of both penalties and interest.
Failure to participate in the Program could result in assessment of taxes, fees, penalties, and interest to the extent a taxpayer is later discovered through audit. Fortunately, unlike certain “carrot and stick” amnesty programs offered by other states in the past, there are no additional penalties specifically designed to punish eligible taxpayers for not participating in the Program. Taxpayers with potential outstanding Texas tax liabilities are encouraged to carefully review their state tax compliance obligations and, if necessary, take advantage of the Program before it ends on June 29, 2018.