Minimizing Your Taxes and Managing Your Complex Affairs

Tax Tips, Finance Tips, Fun Events

Tips for Individuals, Businesses and Charities. Fun Events.

IRS Provides Second Penalty Relief for 2018 Individual Taxes

The Internal Revenue Service announced that it is waiving the 2018 estimated tax penalty for many taxpayers whose 2018 federal income tax withholding and estimated tax payments fell short of their total tax liability for the year.

GREAT NEWS. IRS PROVIDES PENALTY RELIEF AGAIN!

The IRS is generally waiving the penalty for any taxpayer who paid at least 80% of their total 2018 tax liability during the year through federal income tax withholding, quarterly estimated tax payments or a combination of the two. The usual percentage threshold is 90 percent to avoid a penalty. In January 2019, they dropped it to 85% and on March 22, 2019 it was reduced again.

Taxpayers who have already filed for tax year 2018 but qualify for this expanded relief may claim a refund by filing Form 843, Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement and include the statement “80% Waiver of estimated tax penalty” on Line 7.  This form cannot be filed electronically.

This relief is designed to help taxpayers who were unable to properly adjust their withholding and estimated tax payments to reflect an array of changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the far-reaching tax reform law enacted in December 2017. 

The updated federal tax withholding tables, released in early 2018, largely reflected the lower tax rates and the increased standard deduction brought about by the new law. This generally meant taxpayers had less tax withheld in 2018 and saw more in their paychecks. 

However, the withholding tables couldn’t fully factor in other changes, such as the suspension of dependency exemptions and reduced itemized deductions. As a result, some taxpayers could have paid too little tax during the year, if they did not submit a properly-revised W-4 withholding form to their employer or increase their estimated tax payments.. 

Although most 2018 tax filers are still expected to get refunds, some taxpayers will unexpectedly owe additional tax when they file their returns.

Richard Pon CPA, CFP