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SALT TALK:  June and Pennsylvania Tax Amnesty are “Bustin’ Out All Over”

Posted by Wayne K. Berkowitz CPA, J.D., LL.M. on May 15, 2017 11:50:00 AM
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By popular demand only, I am blogging once again about Pennsylvania’s latest and greatest tax amnesty offer.  The program is “Bustin’ Out” or ending, June 19, 2017, so you’d better hurry to reap the benefits.  The Program began April 21, 2017.

What makes this program so unique is that not only are penalties on past due taxes waived, but 50% of the interest as well.  All taxes administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, whether applicable to individuals or businesses, are eligible.  While participation is rewarded, sitting on the sidelines will be penalized.  All those who are eligible, but not participating, will be hit with an additional 5% penalty should a subsequent tax liability arise.

While not an all-inclusive list, amnesty eligible taxes include the:

  • Corporate Net Income Tax;
  • the Capital Stock or Foreign Franchise Tax;
  • Employer Withholding Tax, Hotel Occupancy Tax (including the local tax for Philadelphia and Allegheny County);
  • Inheritance and Estate Tax;
  • Personal Income Tax;
  • Sales and Use Tax; and
  • Realty Transfer Tax.

Certain taxpayers are not eligible including those that are under some type of criminal investigation or judicial proceeding involving tax matters.  Additionally, taxpayers that participated in the 2010 amnesty program also need not apply. 

Taxpayers with “unknown” liabilities are effectively getting a “limited look-back” as part of the program since upon acceptance into the program they will not be liable for any taxes of the same type that were due prior to January 1, 2011.  While full payment is generally expected at the program’s end, June 19, 2017, a two payment program exists for those who can demonstrate serious financial hardship.

This amnesty if fairly sweeping and generous, albeit quite brief.  So, if you have questions, now is the time. Contact me at or your Berdon advisor.

Wayne Berkowitz, a tax partner and head of the State and Local Tax Group at Berdon LLP, advises on the unique requirements of governments and municipalities across the nation.


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