State Tax Amnesty Program Now Open Through June 19

If you owe back taxes to the state, you can benefit from a new tax amnesty program running now through June 19.

“This 60-day program offers incentives to settle delinquent accounts, and is expected to generate $150 million in revenue for Pennsylvania,” Sen. Pat Stefano (R-32)  said.

The program does not forgive taxes owed, but it waives penalties, collection fees, lien fees, and half of the interest owed. 

To be eligible, taxes must have been owed as of December 31, 2015.

The Department of Revenue said 680,090 Pennsylvania taxpayers are eligible for tax amnesty this year. Another 182,508 taxpayers eligible for amnesty are out of state, with nearly 70,000 in neighboring states.

The program does not include unemployment compensation or any taxes administered by another state, a local government or the federal government. Property taxes, for example, are not included.

About $3.5 billion in Pennsylvania taxes may be eligible for the program. About $1.1 billion is from 2005 or earlier, $889 million is under appeal and $2.2 billion represents delinquent taxes with interest, penalties and fees.

Any taxpayer who participated in the 2010 program, the last time Pennsylvania offered this incentive, would not be eligible this time.

Eligible individuals and businesses who fail to take advantage of the relief in penalties and interest will receive a 5 percent penalty on their unpaid taxes after the program. Letters are being mailed to known delinquent taxpayers with information on how to participate.

Also, participants who become tax delinquent within the next two years must pay all waived penalties and interest.

“This opportunity may not come again, so I encourage anyone who has been fallen behind to take advantage of this 60-day window,” Stefano said. 

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