Voluntary Disclosure: Guide to Georgia's Voluntary Disclosure Program - Georgia Tax
Georgia Department of Revenue
In order to enter into a voluntary disclosure agreement (VDA), the Georgia Department of Revenue (Department) requires that a company or individual provide certain information, representations, and warranties set forth in a written offer. In order to begin the process, please answer all questions and complete all facts required by the Department's Voluntary Disclosure Application. Please be specific. Vagueness or ambiguity will only hinder our attempt to determine the liability of the company or individual and reach an agreement.
If a company or individual's nexus or connection to the state of Georgia for tax purposes is so insignificant that the taxpayer believes prospective filing is justified, the Department would prefer that the taxpayer simply register and go forward from that point (i.e., register and pay taxes for current periods and not for any periods prior to registration). Please note that the Department will almost never be willing to waive any past liability as part of a prospective filing.
After submission and review of the application, the Department will draft and sign an agreement and return the original documentation to you. Please note that the entire application package may be submitted anonymously.Look-back period
The Department will normally require a look-back period, whereby the company or individual will pay taxes covering a certain number of prior years. The length of the look-back period will depend on the nature of the company's or individual's activities and the size of past years' potential tax liabilities as submitted in the application. The look-back period will usually be for a minimum of three years for all tax types.
For individual income tax, the look-back period can be extended up to five years for those taxpayers who have filed their federal income tax returns yet have failed to file a Georgia income tax return. For sales and use tax, the look-back period will be extended as far back as necessary to recover taxes that a taxpayer collected yet did not remit. For corporate income tax, the look-back period depends upon the existence of a net operating loss during the period.Penalty waiver
Whether penalties for taxes due for the period of non-filing are waived, and the extent of the waiver, will depend on the same issues that determine if the Department will insist on a look-back period (i.e., the certainty of the nexus and the size of the liability), as well as the explanation for the failure to file as stated in the voluntary disclosure application.Interest waiver
Interest on monies due for taxes for the look-back period cannot be waived.Alcohol and tobacco taxes
Alcohol or tobacco licensing, registration and taxes will not be covered by a voluntary disclosure agreement. Companies interested in discussing alcohol or tobacco-related matters should contact the Department's Alcohol and Tobacco Division directly. They can be contacted using the telephone number and email address located on the Alcohol and Tobacco Division's webpage.Related voluntary disclosure agreements
If a pass-through entity is seeking a VDA for a trust fund tax liability, it is imperative that separate disclosure agreements be negotiated for any income tax liabilities owed by the entity's partners, members, shareholders, etc...
Upon receipt of the VDA, you should sign the original agreement (making sure to include the company or individual's name if not previously divulged), fill out a state tax registration form and any other applicable forms, keep a copy, and return the originals to us. You would then begin to comply with the terms of the agreement. Please note that if a third-party is representing you in negotiating the VDA, we will also need a power of attorney authorizing us to speak with the third-party on your behalf.
Please send all correspondence to:
Georgia Department of Revenue
Attn: Steven Alvarez
Manager, Compliance Research Unit
1800 Century Blvd., Suite 18204
Atlanta, Georgia 30345