Articles Posted in Penalty Abatement

The taxpayer may be subject to several different penalties.

Failure to File
If a taxpayer fails to file on the date the return should have been filed (determined with regard to any extension of time for filing) the taxpayer will be subject to a failure to file penalty unless it is shown that the failure to file a return is due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect. This penalty is 5% of the net amount of tax due for each month (or fraction thereof) during which there is a failure to file any return, up to a maximum penalty of 25%. If the return is not filed within 60 days of the due date, the minimum penalty will be the lesser of $135 or 100% of the tax liability on the return (even if there are no unpaid taxes when the return is filed).

If both the “failure to file” and the “failure to pay” penalties apply for the same period, the failure to file penalty (5%) is reduced by the failure to pay penalty (0.5%). This generally results in a 4.5% per month failure to file penalty and a 0.5% per month failure to pay penalty.

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Are you a business owner or an officer facing a 941 payroll or employment tax problem?

Unpaid payroll or employment tax is a serious tax matter, and the IRS holds the business owner, officers and other personnel as responsible person(s) and actively enforce aggressive collection measures to collect on the unpaid back taxes, penalties and interest.

For the IRS to excuse the penalty for failing to file, the taxpayer must show that such failure was due to reasonable cause. A taxpayer can show reasonable cause by proving that he or she “exercised ordinary business care and prudence and was nevertheless unable to file the return within the prescribed time” (see Reg. §301.6651-1(c)(1)). This standard is objective and will be determined by analyzing all the facts and circumstances.

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Penalty abatement is a form of tax debt relief you can avail to significantly reduce the total tax you owe to the IRS.

What is Penalty Abatement?
If you have a tax debt, the IRS will calculate penalties and interest on the amount owed. The penalties include a ‘failure to file’ penalty if you have failed to file your returns on time (including extensions), a ‘failure to pay’ penalty if the tax amount has not been paid in full and which is calculated on the basis of the amount you owe. These two penalties are charged on a monthly basis for the entire period until resolution. Further the IRS charges a daily interest on the tax amount you owe. All in all, the each penalty may contribute up to 25% of your total tax bill.

If your failure to pay taxes has been due to financial difficulties, such difficulties are further compounded by the penalties, which continuously keep adding to the total tax debt. So penalty abatement is an option you should definitely consider to achieve some degree of tax debt relief. As professional enrolled agent, Mike Habib can guide you in this matter if you do not feel confident enough to handle it on your own.

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You recently asked what will happen and what you should do in the event that you cannot pay your taxes on time. First and most importantly, don’t let your inability to pay your tax liability in full keep you from filing your tax return properly and on time. It is also important to remember that an extension of time to file your tax return doesn’t also extend the time to pay your tax bill. Get tax resolution services at 1-877-788-2937.

Even if you can’t make full payment of your liabilities, timely filing your return and making the largest partial payment you can will save you substantial amounts in interest and penalties. Additionally, there are procedures for requesting payment extensions and installment payment arrangements which will keep the IRS from instituting its collection process (liens, property seizures, etc.) against you. Get tax resolution services at 1-877-788-2937.

Overview of the most common penalties. The “failure to file” penalty accrues at the rate of 5% per month or part of a month (to a maximum of 25%, reached after five months) on the amount of tax your return should show you owe. The “failure to pay” penalty is gentler, accruing at the rate of only 0.5% per month or part of a month (to a maximum of 25% reached after fifty months) on the amount actually shown as due on the return. If both apply, the failure to file penalty drops to 4.5% per month, so the total combined penalty remains at 5%–thus, the maximum combined penalty for the first five months is 25%. Thereafter, the failure to pay penalty can continue at 0.5% per month for 45 more months, yielding an additional 22.5%. In total, these combined penalties can reach 47.5% of your unpaid liability in less than five years.

Mike Habib is an IRS licensed Enrolled Agent who focuses his tax practice on helping his clients resolve their tax controversy matters. His tax relief firm is rated “A” by the better business bureau, which is quite rare for this industry as many are rated “F” or already ceased business operations like American Tax Relief and Nationwide Tax Relief and possibly many more to come.

Do you have IRS tax problems?

Don’t procrastinate anymore; call Mike Habib at 1-877-788-2937 for a free analysis of your tax situation. There are solutions to your tax problems.

Employment and Payroll Tax Audit & Examination:

The IRS announced its plan to audit the first 6,000 employment tax audits and small business will be their audit target. The IRS will start examining 2,000 companies every year over the next 3 years.

The IRS will utilize its audit findings to target a select group of businesses and aggressively audit their payroll tax and refine estimates to close the tax gap. IRS audit agents are specially trained to audit employment and payroll tax for the audited businesses.

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Dishonored Check – A penalty is charged if a taxpayer’s check is returned because of insufficient funds. For checks of $1,250 or more, the penalty is 2% of the check amount. For checks less than $1,250, the penalty is the lesser of $25 or the amount of the check.

Paying Late – The penalty is ½% of the unpaid tax for each month or part of a month the tax is unpaid. If the IRS issues a Notice of Intent to Levy and the taxpayer does not pay the balance within 10 days, the penalty increases to 1% per month. The penalty cannot be more than 25% of the tax paid late. The late payment penalty is reduced to ¼% per month for those paying in installments.

Most tax penalties are substantial, punitive and can dramatically increase the overall tax bill. Penalties are assessed for a many reasons. Some tax penalties are due to a taxpayer’s carelessness or inattention to tax details. Other penalties are incurred due to the overstatement of deductions, the failure to report income, missing documentation, negligence, fraud or procrastination.

Recently, Congress added additional penalties for making excessive claims or filing frivolous tax returns. The following is an overview of the IRS penalties that can be imposed on a taxpayer.

The IRS assessed taxpayers over $29,000,000,000.00 (that’s 29 Billion Dollars) in penalties during 2009.

Tax Relief – Get tax debt relief today

Reasonable Cause/Good Faith Defense: Even if the taxpayer did not have substantial authority for a position and failed to make adequate disclosure, the substantial understatement penalty does not apply if the taxpayer had reasonable cause for the tax underpayment and acted in good faith [IRC Sec. 6664(c); Reg. 1.6664-4]. This defense is applied on a “facts and circumstances” basis [Reg. 1.6664-4(b)]. However, the key factor seems to be whether the taxpayer made a reasonably energetic attempt to determine the correct tax liability. For example, an honest misunderstanding of fact or law, an isolated computational error, reliance on professional tax advice, or reliance on information returns all indicate reasonable cause/good faith. However, if the taxpayer should have known better, the defense will not apply.

Observation: According to IRM 20.1.5.6, the most important factor in determining whether the taxpayer has reasonable cause and acted in good faith is the extent of the taxpayer’s effort to report the proper tax liability. For example, reliance on erroneous information reported on an information return indicates reasonable cause and good faith, provided the taxpayer did not know or have reason to know that the information was incorrect. Similarly, an isolated computational or transcription error may indicate reasonable cause and good faith. Other factors to consider are the taxpayer’s experience, knowledge, sophistication, education, mental and physical condition, and reliance on the advice of a tax advisor.

ORLANDO MAN SENTENCED FOR $181 MILLION PAYROLL-TAX FRAUD

Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney A. Brian Albritton announces that U.S. District Judge John Antoon, II, today sentenced Frank L. Amodeo (age 48, of Orlando) to 22 years and six months in federal prison for conspiring to commit wire fraud, to obstruct an agency proceeding, and to impede the Internal Revenue Service (IRS); failing to remit payroll taxes; and obstructing of an agency proceeding. The Court ordered Amodeo to forfeit more than $1 million seized from various accounts, three homes, several luxury automobiles, commercial real estate, a Lear Jet and his corporations. The Court also imposed a money judgment of approximately $181 million, which is amount of the stolen payroll tax funds. Amodeo had pleaded guilty on September 23, 2008.

According to court documents, Amodeo, and his co-conspirators controlled several companies, including multiple employee leasing companies or PEOs (professional employee organizations). They conspired to absolve themselves and the companies they controlled of the responsibility for existing payroll tax liabilities and to divert payroll tax funds paid by the PEO clients to the PEOs that Amodeo and his co-conspirators controlled.