This program encourages taxpayers who haven't filed and paid their taxes to come forward voluntarily and pay what they owe. We offer significant incentives to taxpayers who "fess up" and pay: we won't impose penalties and we won't bring criminal charges against them.
(If you filed a return but didn't pay in full, you aren't eligible for this program. Wait for a bill and then request an installment payment agreement.)
The program covers all taxes administered by the Tax Department - including income, corporate, and sales. Any taxpayer who meets the eligibility criteria can participate, even if their nonpayment was the result of fraudulent or criminal conduct.
To participate, a taxpayer need only tell us about the taxes that they owe, enter an agreement to pay what they owe, and continue to pay their taxes in the future.
Although we're asking taxpayers to tell us about conduct that could be fraudulent or criminal, the Tax Law has privacy provisions that protect them. We can't use information provided in a voluntary disclosure application against a taxpayer or share that information with other federal, state, or local agencies. However, we can exchange actual returns or reports filed by voluntary disclosure program participants with the IRS and state and local agencies that we have exchange agreements with (as we do with returns and reports filed by all taxpayers).
- There's an important exception to this secrecy rule: if a taxpayer intentionally violates the terms of the voluntary disclosure agreement, we may use the disclosed information against them.
For more information
To be eligible, an applicant must meet all of the following criteria:
- They must not currently be under audit by the Tax Department for the tax type and tax year(s) that they are disclosing.
- They must not have received a bill for the past due taxes that they are disclosing.
- They must not be under criminal investigation by a New York State agency or political subdivision of the state.
- They must not be seeking to disclose participation in a tax avoidance transaction (commonly known as a tax shelter) that is a federal or New York State reportable or listed transaction.
How to participate:
If you meet the eligibility criteria and would like to apply, complete the online Voluntary Disclosure Program application. We'll ask you to submit a detailed explanation of:
- the taxes that you owe,
- the reason that you failed to report and pay those taxes and
- why you think you are eligible for a limited look-back clause (if you think you are applying for one).
2. Wait to hear from us
Do not file your return(s) before you receive an acceptance letter and agreement.
- We'll review your application and determine if you're eligible.
- We may ask you for additional information in order to determine your eligibility.
- If we approve your application, we'll send you a Voluntary Disclosure Agreement, which will cover only the taxes and tax periods that you listed in your application.
- Sign the agreement and return it to us. You must also send us signed copies of your tax returns that accurately reflect how much tax you actually owe for the tax periods in question. You must mail both your signed agreement and returns together to the address provided in the eligibility letter.
- In order to participate in the program and receive its benefits, you must pay any tax and interest that you disclosed in the agreement.
- In some cases, we may send you a bill based on your voluntary disclosure. If so, you must pay the taxes and interest stated on the bill.
- If you can't pay the taxes due in full, you may be able to make installment payments. We may request information about your financial condition before we allow installment payments.
If we approve your application and you make arrangements to pay us the taxes and interest that you owe, we'll agree to do the following:
- We won't impose any penalties on you.
- If your failure to pay taxes was a criminal offense, we won't prosecute you.
These promises apply only to the past due taxes and tax periods that you disclosed in your application and that are the subject of the agreement. If you owe other taxes that you didn't disclose in your application, we may attempt to collect those taxes, impose penalties, and possibly prosecute you.
If you do any of the following, you will be in violation of the agreement:
- Intentionally provide false material information in any of your disclosure documents.
- Intentionally omit material information from any of your disclosure documents.
- Intentionally fail to pay the back taxes and interest that you agreed to pay as part of the agreement.
- Intentionally violate the tax law in the future, including failing to pay any taxes.
If you violate the terms of the agreement, we will no longer be bound by our promises.
- We may use the information that you disclosed against you.
- We may pursue any civil or criminal penalty that might apply to the misconduct disclosed by you as part of the program process.