Oklahoma Enacts Two-Month Voluntary Compliance Initiative

July 2015

On May 20, 2015, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed a new law that effectively enacts a two-month amnesty program for various Oklahoma taxes. This program, the Oklahoma Voluntary Compliance Initiative, runs September 14 through November 13, 2015.

Taxes eligible for the program include income tax, withholding tax, sales & use tax, mixed beverage tax, gasoline & diesel tax, gross production & petroleum excise tax and privilege tax. Taxpayers choosing to participate in the program will receive a waiver of interest, penalty and other collection fees or costs associated with the outstanding liabilities of the aforementioned taxes. The program only applies to tax liabilities due and payable for tax periods ending before January 1, 2015. 

To be eligible for the waiver, the delinquent returns or reports must be filed and taxes associated with the filings paid in full during the program’s two-month period. The program also allows taxpayers to file an amended return for an incorrect or insufficient original return. In the event the taxpayer has a tax liability it is unable to pay in full during the amnesty period, the Oklahoma Tax Commission may consider a six-month payment plan; the commission must approve the plan prior to period close.

The commission recently adopted regulations providing program guidance; one of these regulations addresses special circumstances that may be applicable to some taxpayers. While some circumstances described are very narrow in scope, three may be considered broadly applicable:

  1. A taxpayer currently protesting a commission assessment can be eligible for the program once the protest is withdrawn and the assessed tax is paid in full.
  2. A taxpayer who is the subject of a state tax-related criminal investigation or prosecution is not eligible to participate.
  3. A taxpayer currently in bankruptcy is not eligible to participate.

To learn more about the Oklahoma Voluntary Compliance Initiative, or for help deciding whether to participate in the program, contact your BKD advisor.

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