The 2018 New Jersey Tax Amnesty program has just been launched, providing an opportunity for eligible taxpayers to file and pay past due taxes with reduced interest and no penalties. This program was authorized by legislation approved by Governor Murphy in July, with details just announced for an amnesty period from November 15, 2018 to January 15, 2019.
Tax liabilities incurred for tax returns due on or after February 1, 2009 and prior to September 1, 2017 are eligible for amnesty, although some restrictions apply as to the taxes covered. For example, since the program is being administered through the State Division of Taxation, local property taxes and payroll taxes owed to the New Jersey Department of Labor are excluded. Another exclusion which could affect businesses which have had their corporate charters revoked or limited liability company privileges cancelled are fees assessed by the Division of Revenue, such as the annual report fee for business entities and reinstatement fees.
Taxpayers participating in the amnesty will only pay the amount of tax owed and one-half of the balance of interest due as of November 1, 2018, without any late payment or late filing penalties, cost of collection fees, delinquency penalties or recovery fees that may otherwise be due. Payments made through amnesty are not eligible for refund or credit and participating taxpayers will no longer have the right to appeal the amount paid. Those under criminal investigation or charge for a State tax matter by a county prosecutor or New Jersey’s Attorney General are not eligible to participate in the amnesty program.
Those who are eligible but who do not take advantage of amnesty before it ends on January 15, 2019 will be subject to imposition of a 5% penalty which cannot be waived or abated. This will be in addition to all other penalties, interest, and other costs authorized by law.
Mailings are underway from the Division to contact those taxpayers believed by the Division to have outstanding tax liabilities. The Notices include an amnesty identification number and PIN to access details online. For those taxpayers which have not been contacted by the Division, because they are not registered with the Division of Taxation or wish to make a self-assessment, the Division has established a Non-Outreach Portal. The same January 15, 2019 deadline applies for these taxpayers for Amnesty payment and filing of all required tax returns. The Portal is available for unregistered businesses wishing to make a payment, registered businesses wishing to make a payment against a future audit, individuals wishing to file N.J. Gross Income Tax (1040, 1040NR, 1041) and individuals wishing to pay Use Tax on out of State purchases.
All requests for amnesty must be filed electronically through the New Jersey Department of the Treasury’s special webpage (https://taxamnesty.nj.gov/). The Division has established a toll-free Tax Amnesty Hotline at 1-800-781-8407, operating Monday through Thursday: 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. and Fridays, 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Information is also available in person at the New Jersey Division of Taxation’s seven Regional Information Centers throughout the State.