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  1. How will I know if my application has been approved?
    After you submit your application, you will be notified in writing by the Department.

  2. What if I am accepted into the program and I don’t manage to meet all the program requirements by April 30, 2011?
    You will still be liable for penalties and interest as if you had not been a part of the program.

  3. I am not registered with the Department of Revenue. Can I register now, file tax returns, and participate in this program?
    Yes. Take the following steps:
    1. Register by completing a Business License Application.
    2. Submit an application and all tax returns for which you are requesting a waiver by April 18, 2011.

  4. Can I get a refund of any penalties or interest I’ve already paid?

  5. My invoices include taxes that aren't part of this program. How do I know how much I need to pay?
    Estimate the amount of tax you owe and pay that amount. The Department will contact you if you owe more. If you overestimate the amount you owe, you will receive a credit (or refund if you have no other outstanding liability with the Department) of the amount you overpaid.

  6. What payment methods do you accept for this program?
    We accept all our usual payment methods. You can pay:
    • Online. Log in to your account (or create an account) and click on Pay/view invoices (BillPay). Be sure to apply your payment to the correct invoice.
    • By phone using your credit card. Call 1-800-2PAYTAX. You will need your Tax Registration Number and your invoice number.
    • By mail. Send in a check with your application or returns.
    • By cash or check at any Revenue office that is open to the public.

  7. If I apply for amnesty and pay part of the tax due but not all of it by April 30, 2011, what happens?
    If you fail to fulfill all the requirements of the amnesty program, payments made during the program will be adjusted to pay penalties and interest first, as though you had not applied for the program. You will owe all remaining balances.

  8. After a recent audit, I received an assessment for sales and use tax. Can I apply for amnesty on an audit assessment that I haven’t paid?
    Yes. You can apply for amnesty on any unpaid invoice from the Department that lists penalties and interest due for tax periods due before February 1, 2011, for one of the taxes included in this program. This includes audit assessments.

  9. I have nearly fulfilled a payment plan with the Department. If I apply for amnesty and the payments I made before February 1, 2011 total more than the tax due, will you refund the difference to me?
    No. However, if your application is approved you will receive amnesty for any remaining interest and penalties on those taxes that qualify under the amnesty program (state and local sales and use taxes, state B&O tax, and state public utility tax). 

    Example: You owed $1000 in tax and $500 in penalties and interest (P&I) on which you paid $1200 prior to February 1, 2011. If you are approved for amnesty, the Department would waive the remaining balance of $300. The Department would not refund the $200 in P&I paid before February 1, 2011.

  10. Can I submit an application with what I estimate to be underpaid taxes, and later submit an amended return to modify the estimated amounts?
    You can amend your return, but you will not receive a refund if you overpaid your tax. If you amend your return because you underestimated your tax on your amnesty application, then you owe the unpaid amount along with any penalties and interest that apply.

  11. I am appealing the amount of tax I owe on an invoice. Can I apply for a penalty and interest waiver for that invoice?
    Yes. You can apply for a waiver for an invoice that is currently under appeal.  You must meet all the requirements of the amnesty program. If amnesty is granted, we will automatically dismiss your appeal.

  12. Do I lose the ability to appeal new taxes assessed after I am granted amnesty?
    No. You only waive your right to appeal or seek a refund of taxes paid under the amnesty program. 

  13. If I am later audited for the period covered by my amnesty approval and assessed additional taxes, would I owe penalties and interest on the newly assessed taxes?
    Yes. Amnesty only covers the taxes paid during the amnesty period. 

  14. What’s the difference between voluntary disclosure and amnesty?
    Amnesty is an alternative to voluntary disclosure. By opting for amnesty, businesses must waive their right to appeal or seek a refund.  The table below summarizes the differences between the two programs.  See our Voluntary Disclosure Program for more information.

      Voluntary Disclosure Amnesty
    Look-Back Period 4 + Current 4 + Current
    Penalty Waiver Yes Yes
    Interest Waiver No Yes
    Right to Refund Yes No
    Right to Appeal Yes No
    Standard Voluntary Disclosure Agreement Yes No

  15. Why is the state allowing taxpayers to avoid paying the penalties and interest they have been assessed?
    Washington State is facing significant budget challenges. We need to take steps to bring in as much tax revenue as possible during the remainder of this fiscal year.  At the same time, businesses are struggling to keep afloat. Through this program, we can relieve some of the burden on businesses while bringing money in to the state sooner. 

    This program also encourages unregistered businesses to register and begin paying their taxes without the burden of penalties and interest.