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VSCPA Tax Committee Comments on Virginia Tax Amnesty Program

 

July 31, 2017

Craig Burns
Tax Commissioner
Virginia Department of Taxation
Richmond, VA

Via email: [email protected]

RE: Draft Guidelines for the Virginia Tax Amnesty Program

Dear Mr. Burns:

The Tax Advisory Committee of the Virginia Society of CPAs (VSCPA) has reviewed the Virginia Department of Taxation’s (TAX) proposed guideline for the Virginia Tax Amnesty Program. We understand these guidelines are intended to be used as staff guidance in collecting delinquent taxes as directed by the amnesty laws enacted in 2017. We are providing the following comments for consideration.

First, we understand the program dates are yet to be determined. We would respectfully submit that the administering dates for this program be after the Oct. 15 filing deadline and before Dec. 31.

Second, it is unclear whether the exclusion from amnesty for local tax assessments takes into account local sales tax that is assessed as part of a state sales tax audit under the Business, Professional and Occupational Licenses (BPOL) assessment. We would like clarification on this exclusion.

Third, regarding court decisions after Jan. 1, 2016, would this include all decisions made in every court in Virginia (e.g. Circuit Court, Appeals Court, and Supreme Court)? We would like clarification on which courts can issue qualifying rulings for the program.

Fourth, it is unclear if entering this program means that taxpayers have conceded a tax position for future years. Is every submission considered “non-willful” and therefore not subject to criminal prosecution or use as evidence?

Fifth, during the last amnesty program, the Commonwealth did not clear the accounts and turned the accounts over to private collection firms post-amnesty. We respectfully submit that TAX do everything possible to avoid the same outcome this time.

We recognize that these guidelines are intended to be used as guidelines for the procedures regarding participating in the Virginia Tax Amnesty Program, as well as any other rules that are deemed necessary by the Tax Commissioner.

We sincerely thank you for the opportunity to comment on this issue of importance to Virginia CPAs, and appreciate your consideration of our concerns. If you have questions or would like to discuss any of these comments further, please feel free to contact me or VSCPA Vice President of Advocacy Emily Walker at (804) 612-9428 or [email protected].

Sincerely,

Ryan Losi, CPA
Chair, Tax Committee
Virginia Society of CPAs
2017–2018 VSCPA Tax Advisory Committee:
Ryan Losi, CPA — Chair
Seth Davis, CPA — Vice Chair
Christine Abbott, CPA
Sarah Adams, CPA
Robert Baldassari, CPA
Richard Beason, CPA
Dawn Jessee, CPA
Neil Kossler, CPA
David Machlan, CPA
Vivian Paige, CPA
Nicholas Preusch, CPA
Catherine Stemple, CPA
Clinton Thomas, CPA
Dan Yue, CPA
Mudi Zhang, CPA

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