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4 Weeks Remain for Texas 'Fresh Start' Tax Amnesty Program

In our previous posts we have mentioned that the Texas Comptroller's Office created a tax amnesty program called the "Fresh Start" program. It is set to expire on August 17, 2012, so there are about four weeks remaining.

The amnesty program applies to only those taxes which are collected by the Comptroller's office. The amnesty program waives penalties and interest for businesses if they file a delinquent tax reports (and pay all back taxes owed) and for businesses that amend tax reports that have underreported taxes (and pay the taxes due).

For those who may be wondering whether or not the Fresh Start program applies to them, we offer the following commonly asked questions.

  • Does it apply to the franchise tax report due on May 15 or the first quarterly sales tax reports due on April 20? No it does not. It also does not apply to the March monthly sales tax report that was due on April 20.
  • Does it apply to property taxes? No it does not. It only applies to taxes that are collected by the Comptroller's office.
  • Does it apply to local sales taxes such as metropolitan transit authority taxes? Yes it does. The amnesty applies to any local taxes that are administered by the Comptroller's office.
  • Does the amnesty apply to International Fuel Trade Agreement or IFTA taxes? Yes it does (form #56-102) but only those taxes due to the Comptroller's office. Taxes due to other states or to Mexico or Canada are not covered with the amnesty.
  • What is the earliest tax date that the amnesty applies to? As long as the tax period is one which had a tax due prior to April 1, 2012, it would be covered under the amnesty program.

There are other less common questions which could be answered by either a legal tax professional or by calling the Comptroller's Office directly. We will continue to keep our readers informed of any developments.

Source: Texas Comptroller's Office, "Fresh Start Texas Taxpayer Amnesty Program 2012," May 4, 2012

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