Texas Tax Amnesty Available for Businesses, June 12 to Aug. 17, 2012

03 April 2012 Publication
Author(s): Michael J. Donohue

The Texas Comptroller has announced a limited amnesty program (Project Fresh Start) for certain taxes and fees where it will waive penalties and interest for Texas taxpayers that (i) file delinquent tax reports and pay all taxes due, or (ii) pay the taxes due for returns that underreported taxes. The amnesty period runs from June 12 to Aug. 17, 2012 for reports originally due before April 1, 2012.

Eligible Businesses. Amnesty is available to taxpayers who failed to file a Texas tax report or return originally due before April 1, 2012, underreported tax on a previously filed report, or do not have a permit to report and remit Texas taxes. The amnesty does not apply to filing periods under audit or identified for an audit, or to taxpayers who executed a settlement agreement or voluntary disclosure agreement before June 12, 2012.

Eligible Taxes and Fees. The amnesty program applies to Texas sales tax, franchise (margin) tax and other state or local taxes or fees administered by the Texas Comptroller's office (excluding Public Utility Commission gross receipts assessments). The unclaimed property program and property taxes are not included in the tax amnesty.

Returns and Payments Due. To be eligible for the amnesty, a taxpayer must pay all taxes or fees due, in full, related to the amnesty returns filed. Installment plans are not available. The amnesty reports and payments cannot be filed or paid electronically. Taxpayers that fail to pay taxes or fees owed during the amnesty period will be responsible for all taxes, fees, penalties and interest owed.

How to Apply for Amnesty. To apply for amnesty, a taxpayer must submit to the Comptroller (i) a paper return, for a delinquent original return; (ii) corrected figures on a paper return, for an amended return; or (iii) a tax application to register with the State for the first time. The taxpayer must write "Amnesty" across the top of the return (or application) and on the check or money order.

Dallas Partner Michael J. Donohue (mdonohue@gardere.com or 214.999.4231) and Austin Partner Mark Vane (mvane@gardere.com or 512.542.7077) are available to discuss any questions you might have about the content of this alert. Please also feel free to contact any members of Gardere's Tax Practice.

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