New Jersey Amnesty Program Open Until January 15, 2019

The New Jersey Amnesty program is in full swing, and taxpayers who are delinquent in their New Jersey taxes have until January 15, 2019 to participate. The program began November 15, 2018 and is for delinquent taxes and tax returns due on or after February 1, 2009 and due before September 1, 2017. In order for a tax to be eligible for New Jersey tax amnesty, it must be administered and collected by the New Jersey Division of Taxation. This excludes taxes such as local property taxes and payroll taxes owed to the New Jersey Department of Labor.

As part of the Amnesty program, the New Jersey Department of Revenue will waive most penalties and half the interest due as of November 1, 2018. Civil fraud and criminal penalties are not eligible for waiver.

In order to be approved, the participant must pay all outstanding taxes due, half the interest, and file all delinquent returns. Any payment remitted under the Amnesty program are not eligible for refund. In addition, taxpayers who pay taxes under the Amnesty program waive their right to appeal all amounts paid. As with most Amnesty programs, there is a penalty applied to those that choose not to participate. After the program has ended, an additional 5% penalty will be applied to the outstanding balance due. The nonparticipation penalty cannot be waived or abated by the Department of Revenue.

Who Qualifies?

Almost everyone qualifies for Amnesty. However, taxpayers who have filed an administrative or judicial appeal related to a tax assessment may only participate if they withdraw their appeal, waive all rights to a future appeal, and receive written approval from the Director of the Division. In addition, taxpayers under criminal investigation or who are charged with a New Jersey state tax matter by a county prosecutor or New Jersey Attorney General are not eligible to participate in the Amnesty Program.

Taxpayers will be denied Amnesty for:

  • Failure to qualify for Amnesty
  • Failure to complete the terms of the agreement under which this amnesty is being offered (acknowledging the Amnesty Waiver Statement, filing appropriate returns, and making full payment for the amnesty amount due).
  • Submission of a payment that is dishonored (bounced, rejected)
  • Failure to be granted specific approval from the Director of the Division of Taxation for tax matters pending before the Conference and Appeals Branch or the Tax Court of New Jersey (or other judicial body)

How Can I Participate?

Taxpayers wishing to participate must take the following actions before midnight on January 15, 2019:

  • File all outstanding returns;
  • Remit full payment of taxes and half the interest due as of November 1, 2018; and
  • Acknowledge the online Payment and Waiver Statement

In November, the Department sent notices to all known eligible participants. The notice has a 13-character Amnesty ID and a Personal Identification Number (“PIN”). These numbers should be used when accessing the Amnesty website. The notices provide additional instructions on how to participate in the program. If you have outstanding New Jersey tax liabilities and have not received a notice with an Amnesty ID or PIN, go to the State of New Jersey's website.

Please contact HBK if you believe you have outstanding New Jersey liabilities or if you have questions regarding the program.

About the Author(s)
Suzanne P. Leighton is a Senior Manager in HBK's Tax Advisory Group (TAG) and works primarily in the Pittsburgh, PA office. She is the firm's SALT (State and Local Tax) Practice leader and brings unparalleled expertise in Pennsylvania State taxes, in particular as they relate to partnerships, S corps and sole proprietorships. Sue spent the first half of her career in public accounting and the second half working for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. She oversaw the agency’s activities relative to partnerships, S corporations, estates and trusts, compliance and collection activities, including criminal tax investigations.
Hill, Barth & King LLC has prepared this material for informational purposes only. Any tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or under any state or local tax law or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding the matter.