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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 3642         FILED ON: 5/10/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 3608

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Geoff Diehl

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To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act establishing a tax amnesty program.

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PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Geoff Diehl

7th Plymouth

Brian M. Ashe

2nd Hampden

Nicholas A. Boldyga

3rd Hampden

James M. Cantwell

4th Plymouth

Josh S. Cutler

6th Plymouth

James J. Dwyer

30th Middlesex

Kimberly N. Ferguson

1st Worcester

Paul McMurtry

11th Norfolk

Shaunna O'Connell

3rd Bristol

David T. Vieira

3rd Barnstable

Jonathan D. Zlotnik

2nd Worcester


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 3642        FILED ON: 5/10/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 3608

By Mr. Diehl of Whitman, a petition (subject to Joint Rule 12) of Geoff Diehl and others for legislation to establish a tax amnesty program.  Revenue. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

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An Act establishing a tax amnesty program.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the commissioner of revenue shall establish a tax amnesty program during which all penalties that could be assessed by the commissioner shall be waived without the need for any showing by the taxpayer of reasonable cause or the absence of willful neglect for the failure of the taxpayer to: (i) timely file any proper return for any tax type and for any tax period; (ii) file proper returns which report the full amount of the taxpayer's liability for any tax type and for any tax period; (iii) timely pay any tax liability; or (iv) pay the proper amount of any required estimated payment toward a tax liability. The waiver of a taxpayer’s liability under this section shall apply if the taxpayer files returns, makes payments as required by the commissioner or otherwise comes into compliance with the tax laws of the commonwealth as required by the commissioner pursuant to the tax amnesty program. The scope of the program, including the particular tax types and periods covered, including any limited look-back period for unfiled returns, shall be determined by the commissioner; provided, however, the commissioner shall include, but not be limited to, the following tax types within the scope: sales and use tax, sales tax on telecommunications services, meals tax, meals tax local option, materialman sales tax, withholding income, performer withholding, pass-through entity withholding, lottery annuity withholding, room occupancy excise, room occupancy excise local option, convention center financing fees on room occupancy in Boston, Cambridge, Chicopee, Springfield, West Springfield, and Worcester, convention center financing surcharge for sightseeing tours, convention center financing surcharge on vehicle rentals in Boston, convention center financing surcharge on parking in Boston, Springfield, and Worcester, deeds excise, cigarette excise, cigars and smoking tobacco excise, club alcohol beverage excise, gasoline excise, special fuels excise, special fuels excise local option, and boat and recreational vehicles sales tax.

              The amnesty program shall be established for 2 consecutive months within fiscal year 2014 to be determined by the commissioner, such period to expire not later than June 30, 2014, and all required payments shall be made on or before June 30, 2014, in order for the amnesty to apply. If a taxpayer fails to pay the full liability before June 30, 2014, the commissioner shall retain any payments made and shall apply those payments against the outstanding liability, and the provisions of the tax amnesty program, other than the additional penalty authorized by section 2, shall not apply.

              The commissioner's authority to waive penalties during the amnesty period shall not apply to any taxpayer who, before the start date of the amnesty program selected by the commissioner, was the subject of a tax-related criminal investigation or prosecution. The amnesty program shall not authorize the waiver of interest or any amount treated as interest. The commissioner may offer tax amnesty to those taxpayers who have either an unpaid self-assessed liability or who have been assessed a tax liability, whether before or after the filing of a return, which assessed liability remains unpaid.

              To the extent that a taxpayer within the scope of the amnesty program as determined by the commissioner and wishing to participate in the amnesty program has postponed the payment of an assessment of tax, interest and penalty under the authority of subsection (e) of section 32 of chapter 62C of the General Laws, the taxpayer shall waive in writing all rights under said subsection (e) of said section 32 of said chapter 62C further delay the payment of the tax and interest portions of the assessment. The tax and interest portions of the assessment shall be payable in full from the date of the commissioner's notice of assessment. Upon payment by the taxpayer of the tax and interest of the outstanding assessment, the commissioner shall waive all penalties associated with that assessment. The taxpayer and the commissioner shall then proceed with all administrative appeal rights that the taxpayer wishes to pursue with respect to the assessment.

              Amnesty shall not apply to those penalties which the commissioner would not have the sole authority to waive including, but not limited to, fuel taxes administered under the International Fuel Tax Agreement or under the local option portions of taxes or excises collected for the benefit of cities, towns or state governmental authorities.

              The commissioner shall maintain records of the amnesty provided under this section including, but not limited to: (i) the number of taxpayers provided with amnesty; (ii) the types of tax liability for which amnesty was provided and, for each type of liability, the amount of tax liability collected and the amount of penalties foregone by virtue of the amnesty program; and (iii) the total outstanding tax liability for amnesty-eligible taxpayers at the conclusion of the tax amnesty program after the collection of all funds under this section. The commissioner shall file a report detailing such information with the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate, the joint committee on revenue, the house and senate committees on ways and means, the minority leader of the house and the minority leader of the senate not later than September 1, 2014; provided, however, that such report shall not contain information sufficient to identify an individual taxpayer or the amnesty that an individual taxpayer was provided under this section.

              A taxpayer who is eligible for the amnesty program based upon the criteria established by the commissioner and who fails to come forward under the tax amnesty program and make payments before June 30, 2014 shall, in addition to all other penalties provided by chapter 62C of the General Laws, be subject to an additional penalty not to exceed $500 per taxpayer, which shall be calculated and assessed according to rules determined by the commissioner and which may be subject to de minimis or other exceptions that the commissioner may consider appropriate. This penalty shall be subject to said chapter 62C and shall be added to and become part of the tax due. The commissioner may waive the penalty provided by this subsection for reasonable cause as provided in subsection (f) of section 33 of said chapter 62C.

              SECTION 2. There shall be established and set up on the books of the commonwealth a separate fund to be known as the Municipal Police Support Trust Fund to be used, without appropriation, by the executive office of public safety and security for the purpose of funding veteran, reserve and in-service training programs conducted by the municipal police training committee under section 116 of chapter 6. One-third of the revenues received by the commonwealth pursuant to section 90A of this act shall be deposited into the trust fund; provided, the amount deposited is no more than $10,000,000. All monies deposited into the fund shall be expended exclusively for the purpose set forth in this section. No expenditure from said fund shall cause said fund to be in deficiency at the close of a fiscal year.

              SECTION 3. There shall be established and set up on the books of the commonwealth a separate fund to be known as the Commonwealth Public Assistance Technological Innovation Trust Fund to be used, without appropriation, by the executive office of health and human services, in consultation with the department of transitional assistance and the office of Medicaid, for the purposes of investing in technological innovation relating to the distribution of and oversight over taxpayer funded public assistance. Fifty per cent of the monies within the fund shall be expended on expediting the implementation of the integrated eligibility system established pursuant to section 16 of chapter 6A and the establishment of an online payment system administered by the department of transitional assistance, pursuant to section 26A of chapter 18. The remaining 50 per cent of the monies shall be distributed as block grants for retail establishments to invest in the technological capacity to sort out items prohibited for purchase with electronic benefit transfer cards, or EBT cards, pursuant to sections 5I through 5J of chapter 18. For purposes of this section, a retail establishment shall be defined as any premises in which the business of selling services or tangible personal property is conducted, or, in or from which any retail sales are made, and employs no more than eight employees. One-third of the revenues received by the commonwealth pursuant to section 90A of this act shall be deposited into the trust fund; provided, the amount deposited is no more than $10,000,000. All monies deposited into the fund shall be expended exclusively for the purposes set forth in this section. No expenditure from said fund shall cause said fund to be in deficiency at the close of a fiscal year.

              SECTION 90D. Any remaining amount of revenues received by the commonwealth, pursuant to section 90A of this act, after amounts made available in sections 90B and 90C of this act, shall be deposited into the General Fund.”.

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