by Royce West
Last month (8/24/22), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced a measure that is sure to bring a sigh of relief to many who have fallen behind on filing their taxes over the past few pandemic years. Under Notice 2022-36, the IRS announced that it would waive late fees and penalty payments for individuals and businesses who were late filing their 2019 and 2020 Form 1040 and 1120 series tax returns.
The IRS estimates that waiving such late fees and penalties will save taxpayers more than $1.2 billion in refunds or credits. The relief comes in two forms. Those who have already paid late filing penalties will have those penalties refunded. Those who have not yet filed 2019 and 2020 returns will not be charged late fees and penalties. But those returns must be filed on or before September 30, 2022. The agency estimates that about 1.6 million taxpayers will benefit.
Those who paid late fees for 2019 and 2020 returns can expect refunds or credits by the end of this month. The refunds will be automatic. There is no need to apply for the refunds, call or otherwise contact the IRS. The measure was designed to provide relief to taxpayers who may have experienced hardship when returns were due in 2020 and 2021, possibly taking into account that the agency itself was not operating at full capacity.
However, this effort only provides relief for penalties and fees associated with “failure to file” 2019 or 2020 federal income tax returns. It does not, I repeat, it does not provide relief or mitigate in any way, actual taxes owed to the IRS. Penalty refunds also do not apply to fraudulent returns or where penalties levied were part of an agreement reached with the IRS or determined through the courts. More information on Notice 2022-36 can be found online at IRS.gov.
Again, if you have not yet filed your 2019 or 2020 federal income tax returns, don’t wait another day. Breaks like this from the IRS don’t happen often.