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  • Writer's pictureLindsay Sisk, GTG

Voluntary Disclosure Agreements: How to Get Them to Work for You

By: Lindsay Sisk, Gable Tax Group

Last week Gable Tax Group posted on amnesty programs and how they are beneficial for both the taxpayer and the taxing jurisdiction. Although amnesty programs are great, if you are hoping for the right time to pay the tax you’ve collected and not remitted, waiting for an amnesty program may leave your company in a lot of trouble if caught holding the money. However, there is another solution as many state’s offer Voluntary Disclosure Agreements (“VDA’s”) that can be equally beneficial and here’s why:

VDA’s are available in most states, and if the requirements are met, your company can benefit by saving money on penalties as well as how far back the jurisdictions will calculate the unremitted tax (aka “limiting the lookback period”).

Most jurisdictions require that you apply for the VDA program, and agree to the terms by a certain date, and then gather the information to submit by a deadline. Additionally, each jurisdiction has its own terms, lookback period, and amount of time to complete the process.

For instance, Pennsylvania’s lookback period is 3 years plus the current year, and if the VDA is approved, the penalty will be abated and only interest will be owed. One of the differences between the VDA and the amnesty program is the amnesty program offers an additional discount on the interest owed, therefore you receive an additional benefit by entering the amnesty program versus the VDA.

The great news is that almost all states offer VDA’s and although each state has different requirements, essentially the premise behind each is the same. To enter the VDA program, you cannot have been contacted by the jurisdiction previously, are not currently registered with the jurisdiction, or under audit and once approved, you must meet all the deadlines and requirements or the agreement becomes void.

However, your company must apply for the VDA anonymously and this is how the Gable Tax Group can help.   We will help you determine whether or not your company qualifies for the VDA program and we will also prepare a cost-benefit analysis to help you determine whether a VDA makes sense for your company based on the unremitted tax amount and length of time.  We will estimate potential penalties and interest owed and determine the cost savings received by the VDA versus the cost to enter the program.

Let Gable Tax Group help you before the taxing jurisdiction contacts you. The time clock is ticking and you don’t want to get caught gambling your companies financial resources, so call us today!

Call us at 888.872.6579 for a free consultation or email us at

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