I am worried about the IRS “hitting me up for” penalties. What does the IRS charge penalties for?
Since you asked here is a recent post from the IRS about penalties.
Eight Facts on Penalties
|IRS Tax Tip 2011-74, April 14, 2011
When it comes to filing a tax return – or not filing one – the IRS can assess a penalty if you fail to file, fail to pay or both. Here are eight important points the IRS wants you to know about the two different penalties you may face if you do not file or pay timely.
- If you do not file by the deadline, you might face a failure-to-file penalty. If you do not pay by the due date, you could face a failure-to-pay penalty.
- The failure-to-file penalty is generally more than the failure-to-pay penalty. So if you cannot pay all the taxes you owe, you should still file your tax return on time and explore other payment options in the meantime. The IRS will work with you.
- The penalty for filing late is usually 5 percent of the unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month that a return is late. This penalty will not exceed 25 percent of your unpaid taxes.
- If you file your return more than 60 days after the due date or extended due date, the minimum penalty is the smaller of $135 or 100 percent of the unpaid tax.
- If you do not pay your taxes by the due date, you will generally have to pay a failure-to-pay penalty of ½ of 1 percent of your unpaid taxes for each month or part of a month after the due date that the taxes are not paid. This penalty can be as much as 25 percent of your unpaid taxes.
- If you timely filed a request for an extension of time to file and you paid at least 90 percent of your actual tax liability by the original due date, you will not be faced with a failure-to-pay penalty if the remaining balance is paid by the extended due date.
- If both the failure-to-file penalty and the failure-to-pay penalty apply in any month, the 5 percent failure-to-file penalty is reduced by the failure-to-pay penalty. However, if you file your return more than 60 days after the due date or extended due date, the minimum penalty is the smaller of $135 or 100% of the unpaid tax.
- You will not have to pay a failure-to-file or failure-to-pay penalty if you can show that you failed to file or pay on time because of reasonable cause and not because of willful neglect.
For help filing your returns or to discuss your tax and or financial situation please contact me using the information below. I have over ten years experience helping the public with their situations, goals, and preparing their tax returns. So call me today.
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Jeff Haywood, CPA
I prepare the following types of tax returns:
Federal and State Returns
Also, I am available for tax planning and discussions about business, retirement planning and life goals.
For recent US income tax content see the following links:
Begin With The End In Mind
If the band you are in starts playing different tunes
Where Is It? Tax Refund
Deadline for 2010 Personal Tax Returns Moved
Now is the time to file those late tax returns for previous years
IRS: 8 Things to Know if You Receive an IRS Notice
IRS: Nine Fact on Filing an Amended Return
IRS: Eight Facts on Penalties
IRS Top Ten: Making Federal Tax Payments
Forming a New Business – Please Consult With Your CPA First
Questions After I Have Filed My Return
For a full list of prior posts see the CPA Tax Blog.
As always keep in mind that the content provided on this site is general in nature and may or may not apply to your particular case. It is best to check with a tax professional about your circumstances and what is best for you personally. Also, IRS regulations and tax laws are constantly changing and the information on this site is not constantly updated. Again please check with me about your particular circumstances and what will be best in your situation at the given time and law.
This article was written by Jeff Haywood, CPA.
Jeff is a licensed CPA in both Texas and Illinois.
He has prepared income tax returns for the public for over 10 years.
He also has an MBA in Finance from Loyola University in Chicago and he has 24 years experience in Corporate Finance and Business Analysis.