Working Out A Voluntary Disclosure Agreement

If there are taxes you haven't paid in Texas, or returns you haven't filed, you could get hit with huge penalties and interest payments — or even be exposed to potential criminal prosecution.

Fortunately, the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts offers a proactive procedure that you can use to come into compliance with your state tax obligations. This procedure is called a voluntary disclosure agreement (VDA).

At Brown, PC, our skilled, accessible tax attorneys stand ready to help you resolve the situation. Founding attorney Lawrence Brown began his career with the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and uses his experience to help clients achieve the most favorable resolutions possible.

What Types Of Taxes Does Voluntary Disclosure Apply To?

Even without a state income tax, getting behind on Texas state taxes or reports can happen all too easily. This can include problems in collecting or remitting:

  • Sales taxes
  • Sales-and-use taxes
  • Franchise taxes

These and other taxes create significant burdens, especially for business owners trying to compete in an ever-changing marketplace.

They can all be addressed, however, through a voluntary disclosure, relieving you of worries about excessively stiff penalties or possible criminal exposure.

Are You Eligible For A VDA?

A voluntary disclosure agreement (VDA) allows you to tell the Texas Comptroller where you fell short and get more favorable treatment than you would have without the VDA. Generally this means the Comptroller will only go back four years in determining your obligations for back taxes or tax-reporting requirements.

It also generally means that the Comptroller will not assess penalties or interest. Those penalties can be waived, if you meet the criteria for a VDA.

To be eligible for a VDA, however, you have to make the disclosure before you come under audit or investigation.

Reaching out to the Comptroller can be done anonymously by a company representative. It has to be done in writing, addressed to the Business Activity Research Team (BART) at the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts in Austin. In some cases, it will be necessary to determine whether you have tax nexus in Texas.

We will guide you through the application process and make sure your interests are protected.

Paying Your Disclosed Taxes

Of course, disclosing your obligations is only half the battle. You will also need to come up with a plan to pay the disclosed taxes.

We will help you pursue your best option for resolution such as a payment agreement.

Seek Assistance From A Texas State And Local Tax Attorney

At Brown, PC, our team represents clients in Texas, California and throughout the United States in state tax matters as well as all matters of tax controversy and litigation. To discuss your state tax compliance issue with an experienced and knowledgeable tax lawyer, contact the firm online or by calling toll free 888-870-0025.

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