Oklahoma Tax Amnesty Is Coming

By Ryan Duffy

With the passage of Oklahoma House Bill No. 2380, the House revived an Amnesty program in an effort to raise revenues for the state. Tax amnesty typically involves waiver of penalty and interest on taxes due if the Taxpayer agrees to pay the taxes (generally through a pay plan). The last amnesty “PAYRightOK” program in 2015 raised revenues of over $139 million, and allowed many taxpayers to settle their debt with the State of Oklahoma. While the 2017 program (“Voluntary Disclosure Initiative” or “VDI”) is at best a kissing cousin to the 2015 program, there are still (more limited) opportunities for Oklahoma taxpayers to settle up with the state.

The 2017 version of amnesty, VDI, begins September 1, 2017 and closes on November 30, 2017. The amnesty program includes, among certain other taxes, income tax, sales tax (not collected), gross production tax, and gasoline tax. Qualifying taxpayers that avail themselves of the program will receive full waiver of penalty and interest on the taxes due, as well as an agreement for the Oklahoma Tax Commission to only “look back” a maximum of 3 years to collect on the same. A key difference with the 2017 initiative is the requirement that the taxpayer must not have filed a return for the subject tax and must not have yet been contacted by the state regarding said tax.

While the 2017 version of amnesty will not be as inclusive as the 2015 version, it still may provide substantial savings for certain taxpayers. Even if a taxpayer doesn’t qualify for amnesty, there are other programs to settle state (and federal) tax debt with savings. If you want to get the IRS or your state taxing authority off your back, there is no better time to start than now. Working with your attorney or CPA on a plan can bring light to the end of the tax tunnel.


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