Q & A on Connecticut Tax Amnesty
1. What is Connecticut Tax Amnesty?
Connecticut Tax Amnesty is a unique opportunity to avoid penalties and possible criminal prosecution for unpaid tax liabilities. Individuals and businesses who pay back taxes and interest to the State of Connecticut between September 1 and November 30, 1995 may apply for Connecticut Tax Amnesty. Amnesty also offers a reduced interest rate to certain taxpayers. This program extends to any taxable periods ending on or before March 31, 1995.
2. What taxes are eligible for Amnesty?
All taxes administered by the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) are eligible. Amnesty is not available for federal income tax or for local property taxes. If you have a question about eligible taxes, please contact DRS.
Examples of eligible Connecticut taxes:
Personal Income Tax
Sales and Use Taxes
Corporation Business Tax
Capital Gains, Dividends and Interest Income Tax
Motor Fuel Taxes
Gross Earnings Tax
Individual Use Tax
3. What are the benefits of participating in Connecticut Tax Amnesty?
Individuals or businesses, residents or nonresidents, who participate in Tax Amnesty can resolve past tax liabilities and obtain good standing with DRS. In addition, they can eliminate penalty on the amount due and avoid any possible criminal prosecution. Amnesty also offers a reduced interest rate to certain taxpayers. Interest will be computed at 1% per month or fraction thereof if, in general, the taxpayer was not contacted by DRS regarding such taxes and one of the following conditions is met:
the tax was due and no return was filed; or
a return was filed and the tax on that return was underreported.
4. Who qualifies for Connecticut Tax Amnesty?
You qualify if you are an individual, a business or the fiduciary of an estate or trust that:
failed to file a return for any taxable period ending on or before March 31, 1995, or
underreported tax on returns filed for periods ending on or before March 31,1995, or
has an unpaid bill from the DRS for tax periods ended on or before March 31, 1995.
You do not qualify for Tax Amnesty if you are:
- currently under audit by DRS, or
- under criminal investigation by DRS, or
- involved in any pending civil or criminal litigation with DRS.
5. Currently my business is not registered, but I am liable for tax. What should I do?
Amnesty provides the opportunity to voluntarily report past due taxes and obtain the benefits of the program. Once your application for Amnesty is received, DRS will send to you Form REG-1, Application for Tax Registration Number.
6. My business is registered and I always remit taxes to the state. Why should I be interested in this program?
The benefits of Connecticut Tax Amnesty also extend to registered businesses. Amnesty provides an opportunity to pay additional tax liability and interest resulting from underreporting state taxes, including Sales and Use Taxes, Income Tax Withholding and Corporation Business Tax.
EXAMPLE: The improper use of exemption certificates, the improper use of Resale Certificates to purchase goods that are consumed or used by the business, or the purchase of taxable goods or services without paying Connecticut Sales Tax may create a Use Tax liability.
If you have underreported any tax liabilities for tax periods ending on or before March 31, 1995, you should apply for Amnesty.
7. I am not a resident of Connecticut. I file and pay my taxes to my home state. Why would I be interested in Tax Amnesty?
Some nonresidents may have been unaware of their Connecticut personal income tax liability and may benefit from Amnesty. Nonresidents who earned Connecticut source income, including income from the sale or rental of property located in Connecticut, income from work performed in Connecticut, or income from a business conducted in this state could be liable for Connecticut tax on that income. In most cases, the nonresident will be entitled to claim a credit from his/her home state for taxes that are due and paid to Connecticut.
8. What must I do to get Amnesty?
Complete Form OP-305, Application for Tax Amnesty. Full payment of all outstanding tax and interest for the period(s) for which you are requesting Amnesty must accompany the application. (DRS may authorize installment payment plans. See Question 10.)
All applications must be received on or before November 30, 1995. Your application will also be considered timely if the date shown by the U.S. Post Office cancellation mark is on or before November 30, 1995. Extensions will not be granted.
9. Must I file actual tax returns or amended tax returns with my Tax Amnesty application?
The completed Form OP-305, Application for Tax Amnesty, will be considered your tax return. However, if you are requesting Amnesty for Corporation Business Tax, Personal Income Tax or Withholding Tax, we strongly recommend that you complete a Connecticut tax return or an amended return for each period. These returns should be attached to your Amnesty application. By completing a return(s), you increase the accuracy of your tax calculation and ensure that you take advantage of any available credits. The filing of a return(s) is also necessary if you intend to claim credit on another state's return for taxes paid to Connecticut.
10. Are installment payment plans available for Tax Amnesty?
Yes. In the case of financial hardship, DRS may authorize and arrange for an installment method of payment. If you do not honor this payment agreement, however, Tax Amnesty will be revoked. To request a payment plan, submit a letter of request with your completed Form OP-305, Application for Tax Amnesty, stating why full payment of tax and interest would represent a financial hardship. You will be contacted concerning your request by DRS personnel. NOTE: We recommend that you pay as much as you can with your Amnesty application because interest continues to apply on the unpaid balance until payment is made in full.
11. I have paid all the taxes and interest due. The only amount I owe is penalty. Can I apply for Amnesty?
No. To be granted Tax Amnesty, you must owe tax. Since your outstanding balance is penalty only, you are not eligible for Amnesty.
You may, however, be entitled to a waiver of penalty if the failure to pay tax was due to reasonable cause. Requests for a penalty waiver must be in writing and contain a clear and complete explanation. (Be sure to include your name and social security number or Connecticut tax registration number on all correspondence.) Mail to: Penalty Review Committee, Department of Revenue Services, PO Box 5089, Hartford, CT 06102-5089
12. If I am liable for more than one tax, and I am under audit or criminal investigation, or I am a party to criminal or civil litigation for only one tax, may I request Amnesty for any other taxes?
Yes. The only tax for which you cannot be granted Amnesty is the one for which you are under audit, criminal investigation, or a party to criminal or civil litigation. In fact, you may even request Amnesty for tax periods other than those which are the subject of investigation or litigation.
13. I have protested a DRS assessment that is now under appeal. May I file for Amnesty?
Yes. Cases in the DRS appellate process are eligible for Amnesty; however, you will not qualify for the reduced interest rate. NOTE: You waive your right to future appeal or to claim a refund for those issues for which you request and are granted Amnesty. If you have any questions, contact the Appellate Division by calling 203-297-4775.
14. Can I be audited if I am granted Amnesty?
You will not increase your chances of being audited by applying for Connecticut Tax Amnesty. Form OP-305, Application for Tax Amnesty, like any other return filed with DRS, is subject to verification as provided by law.
15. Are Amnesty applications confidential?
Yes. Amnesty applications will be guaranteed the same protection that all taxpayer information is given. It should be pointed out, however, that Connecticut does have reciprocal agreements for the exchange of information with other states and with the federal government. However, Amnesty applications are no more likely to be subject to this exchange than any other taxpayer information.
16. How can I be sure I am not incriminating myself by sending in an application if it turns out I am ineligible for Amnesty?
The DRS will not use Amnesty applications as evidence in any criminal investigation or prosecution.
17. How will I know if my Application for Tax Amnesty has been granted or denied?
Within 30 days of receipt of Form OP-305, Application for Tax Amnesty, you will receive a letter from DRS stating whether your application has been approved or denied.
18. How do I get more information?
If you need more information or assistance, call CONN-TAX, the Department of Revenue Services tax information line, at 860-297-5962 or 1-800-382-9463 (in-state) 24 hours a day. By selecting Option 5 on your touch tone phone you can listen to recorded Connecticut Tax Amnesty information or choose from several options. You may also speak with a Taxpayer Services Representative between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. by selecting Option 0 on your touch tone phone.
Assistance is also available from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. by visiting any of the Department's offices at the following locations:
BRIDGEPORT HAMDEN HARTFORD
10 Middle St. 2105 State St. 25 Sigourney St.
203-579-6251 203-789-7516 203-541-7572
2 Cliff St. 24 Wooster Ave.
19. How do I receive an Amnesty application?
Phone: Call the DRS Forms Unit at 860-297-5962 or 800-382-9463 (in-state) 24 hours a day. Select Option 3 on your touch tone phone.
In Person: Applications for Connecticut Tax Amnesty are available in most libraries, town halls, post offices, many banks and all DRS offices.
Internet: Information and applications are available on the Internet at: http://www.ct.gov/drs
PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING NEW INFORMATION ABOUT DRS.
For Further Information on Connecticut Taxes: Please call the Department of Revenue Services during business hours, Monday through Friday:
Forms and Publications: Forms and publications are available all day, seven days a week:
- Internet: preview and download forms and publications from the DRS Web site: http://www.ct.gov/drs; or
- Telephone: Call 1-800-382-9463 (toll-free from within Connecticut) or 860-297-5962 (anywhere) and select Option 2 from a touch-tone phone.