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IRS Collections are Resuming: Are You Prepared?

The new year has brought both good and not so good news from the IRS. The IRS has resumed sending out collections notices to taxpayers who owe. On the other hand, they’re providing $1 billion in penalty relief to nearly 5 million 2020 and 2021 tax returns. Optima CEO, David King, and Lead Tax Attorney, Philip Hwang, provide helpful advice on who qualifies for penalty relief, how much you can expect to get back and how the IRS will notify you if you qualify for this type of relief.

If You Need Tax Help, Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation 

Ask Phil: Tax Extensions

Today, Optima Tax Relief’s Lead Tax Attorney, Phil Hwang, breaks down tax extensions. Can anyone file a tax extension? When is the deadline to file?  

A tax extension is an additional 6-month period the IRS grants a taxpayer to file their tax return. It is not an extension to pay your taxes. That said, failure to pay your taxes by the original due date will result in a Failure to Pay penalty. The Failure to Pay penalty is currently 0.5% of your unpaid tax bill for every month or partial month the tax remains unpaid, up to a maximum of 25% of your tax bill. 

Anyone can file a tax extension, including individuals and businesses. However, you must file your tax extension before the original due date of the return. If you don’t, your return will be considered late, and you will begin to incur penalties and interest.  

If you’re an individual who is trying to file a tax extension, you’ll need to file IRS Form 4868, also known as the Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. As a business, you will need to file IRS Form 7004, which is the Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns. 

Next week, Phil will discuss how to mitigate or remove IRS penalties and interest. See you next Friday! 

If You Need Help Filing a Tax Extension, Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation 

Ask Phil: Penalties and Interest

Today, Optima Tax Relief’s Lead Tax Attorney, Phil Hwang, discusses penalties and interest, including the most common penalties and how interest rates are calculated. 

Failure to File Penalties

Owing the IRS is much more than just owing a tax balance. The IRS also charges penalties and interest, the most common penalties being the Failure to File and Failure to Pay. The Failure to File penalty is charged on tax returns filed after the tax deadline or tax extension deadline without a reasonable cause. It accrues at a rate of 4.5% per month, beginning after taxes are due. For example, if you filed for a tax extension, you have until the usual October 15th deadline to file before penalties and interest begin to accrue. In 2023, the deadline is October 16th. If you did not file an extension, the deadline is April 15th  each year before the Failure to File penalty and interest begin to accrue. In 2023, the deadline was April 18th.   

Failure to Pay Penalties

The Failure to Pay penalty, on the other hand, accrues at 0.5% per month for every month or partial month that a tax balance remains unpaid. The day the Failure to Pay penalty begins to accrue is dependent on whether you filed a tax extension. If you file a tax extension, the Failure to Pay penalty will begin to accrue after the October tax deadline. If you do not file an extension, it will begin to accrue after the April tax deadline.  

IRS Interest Rates

The interest rates on these penalties are calculated based on the federal short-term rate, plus an additional 3%. Interest compounds daily until the balance is paid in full. The interest rates for underpayments in the first quarter of 2024 are as follows: 

  • 7% for individual underpayments  
  • 9% for large corporate underpayments 

Interest rates are determined each quarter. You can find the most up to date news on quarterly interest rates on the IRS website. 

Next week, Phil will discuss IRS enforcement. How long does the IRS have to collect back taxes? Can back taxes affect your credit score? Stay tuned for “Ask Phil” next Friday!  

If You Are Being Hit with IRS Penalties and Interest, Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation