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I.R.S. to Refund Late-Filing Penalties for 2019 and 2020 Returns

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Groups representing tax professionals, including the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, are urging the I.R.S. to increase the deadline for the late-filing refund. While it’s pleased with the “unprecedented” blanket relief, the institute said in a letter to the I.R.S., a Sept. 30 cutoff is “unreasonable” because taxpayers and preparers are busy with other tasks, including the Oct. 17 deadline for individuals who received extensions to file their 2021 returns.

Eric L. Smith, an I.R.S. spokesman, said the agency was aware of the extension request but had no change to report. He said the agency didn’t have an estimate of what number of taxpayers may be affected by the Sept. 30 deadline. In announcing the plan in late August, Chuck Rettig, commissioner of the I.R.S., said penalty relief was a “complex issue” to manage.

Listed here are some questions and answers about I.R.S. relief for late-filing penalties.

The I.R.S. says that no application is mandatory and that there isn’t any have to call. In the event you paid the penalty, you’ll robotically receive a credit or a refund. Most eligible taxpayers will receive their refunds by the tip of September, the agency said. But remember, you’ve got to have filed the return by Sept. 30.

An “overwhelming majority” of filers will receive checks mailed to the address on file with the I.R.S. There isn’t a option for direct deposit, except in “very rare” circumstances, in keeping with Ms. Collins’s blog post.

One of the best option to see if relief has been applied is to create an online account at irs.gov and check your tax transcript, Ms. Collins said. That way, you possibly can avoid long waits on I.R.S. phone lines.

Due to large scale of the relief program, it could take time to process checks, and “speed bumps” may occur, Ms. Collins said. She advised taxpayers to be patient and to attend until after Nov. 30 before contacting the I.R.S. to ask about penalty checks.

If you’ve got moved since last filing a tax return, you risk having your refund check “go astray,” the taxpayer advocate said. So, the advocate said, it is best to “lose no time” in updating your address with the I.R.S. You have to call the I.R.S. on the phone or send in a form by mail. It may well take as much as six weeks to totally process a change of address, the I.R.S. website says. It might be faster to update your address online with the U.S. Postal Service. But it is best to still notify the I.R.S., the agency says, because not all post offices forward government checks.

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