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Multistate Tax: Texas offers a fresh start for businesses

The State of Texas announced Project Fresh Start, a tax amnesty program beginning June 12, 2012 and available through August 17, 2012. The program is available for most state and local taxes and fees administered by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, which includes over 60 separate taxes and fees. By successfully completing the program, taxpayers may have interest and penalties waived.

What are the benefits of participation?

Project Fresh Start is a one-time opportunity for businesses who owe the State of Texas taxes or fees to file returns by paying the tax, without interest or penalties being assessed. After the amnesty period is completed, the State of Texas will resume assessing interest and penalties.

Who is eligible?

  • Taxpayers who did not file a required return for taxes due before April 1, 2012
  • Taxpayers who need to amend a previously filed tax return1

What taxes are eligible?

Tax Amnesty is available for over 60 other taxes and fees including sales and use or franchise taxes. However, amnesty is not available for:

  • Property taxes
  • Public Utility Commission gross receipts assessments
  • Sports and community venue taxes
  • Unclaimed funds

How to participate

  • Follow these three steps by August 17, 2012:
    • Determine tax liability
    • Complete all required returns
    • Remit full payment of tax due

If you are uneasy about this process, including determining which taxes are applicable to your business, we can assist you in evaluating its benefits and risks. We can also work with you to quantify the proper amount of tax and complete the amnesty process.

Do I have other options?

During tax amnesty, taxpayers may still participate in a voluntary disclosure, a program which offers a similar benefit to tax amnesty. Taxpayers should determine which program will provide the greatest benefit based upon their specific facts and circumstances.

Contact McDonald Hopkins LLC

Our multistate tax practice has experience consulting on all types of state and local tax compliance and controversy matters. Our firm has experience in assisting clients in participating in tax amnesty programs and negotiating voluntary disclosure agreements in states across the nation. We would be happy to assist you in determining the benefits of this program.

1Taxpayers who have recently signed a settlement agreement or completed a voluntary disclosure prior to the beginning of the amnesty period are not eligible to participate in the tax amnesty. Further, filing periods currently under audit or those who have been identified for an audit are not eligible to participate in the tax amnesty.

For more information, please contact:

John R. Tripper
(non-attorney professional)

Adam L. Garn

Thomas M. Zaino

Multistate Tax Practice

Businesses must be vigilant and careful in managing their state and local tax liabilities and exposures. This can be a daunting task. We provide a broad range of state and local tax services including tax planning, tax controversy, real estate tax abatement and exemption, and tax policy advocacy. With professionals who have worked both inside and outside government agencies, the multistate tax team leverages its knowledge and experience to help clients control their complex multistate taxes.

Carl J. Grassi, President
600 Superior Avenue, East, Suite 2100, Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Fax: 312.280.8232
Fax: 216.348.5474
Fax: 614.458.0028
Fax: 248.646.5075
Fax: 1.305.704.3999
West Palm Beach
Fax: 561.472.2122
IRS CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments), was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of (1) avoiding any penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (2) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction matter addressed herein.

© 2012 McDonald Hopkins LLC All Rights Reserved. This Alert is designed to provide current information for our clients, friends and their advisors regarding important legal developments. The foregoing discussion is general information rather than specific legal advice. Because it is necessary to apply legal principles to specific facts, always consult your legal advisor before using this discussion as a basis for a specific action.