IRS Automatically Waives Estimated Tax Penalty for Eligible 2018 Filers
The IRS recently announced it is automatically waiving the estimated tax penalty for the more than 400,000 eligible taxpayers who already filed their 2018 federal income tax returns but did not claim the waiver.
The IRS will apply the waiver to tax accounts of all eligible taxpayers, so there is no need to contact the IRS to apply for or request the waiver.
Earlier this year, the IRS lowered the usual 90 percent penalty threshold to 80 percent to help taxpayers whose withholding and estimated tax payments fell short of their total 2018 tax liability. The agency also removed the requirement that estimated tax payments be made in four equal installments, as long as they were all made by Jan. 15, 2019. The 90 percent threshold was initially lowered to 85 percent on Jan. 16 and further lowered to 80 percent on March 22.
The automatic waiver applies to any individual taxpayer who paid at least 80 percent of their total tax liability through federal income tax withholding or quarterly estimated tax payments but did not claim the special waiver available to them when they filed their 2018 return earlier this year.
Over the next few months, the IRS will mail copies of notices CP21 granting this relief to affected taxpayers. Any eligible taxpayer who already paid the penalty will also receive a refund check about three weeks after their CP21 notice.
For those yet to file, the IRS urges every eligible taxpayer to claim the waiver on their return. This includes those with tax-filing extensions due to run out on Oct. 15, 2019. The quickest and easiest way is to file electronically and take advantage of the waiver computation built into their tax software package. Those who choose to file on paper can fill out Form 2210 and attach it to their 2018 return.
For more information, visit www.irs.gov.