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What penalties can IRS impose on delinquent tax filings?

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    Non-filing has a price and thus when you are eventually forced into compliance, interest and penalties may easily double the debt that would have been owed if the return had been filed timely.

    IRS collection agents are instructed not to waive penalties in non-filer cases without reasonable cause and the penalties that they are to consider assessing on secured delinquent returns under IRC Sec. 6020(a) are as follows:

    • Failure to File Penalty (IRC Sec. 6651(a)(1)).
    • Estimated Tax Penalty (IRC Sec. 6654 or IRC Sec. 6655).
    • Failure to Pay Penalty (IRC Sec. 6651(a)(2)).
    • Accuracy Penalty (IRC Sec. 6662(a)).
    • Fraudulent Failure to File (IRC Sec. 6651(f))

    Note: The burden of proof is on the government to establish fraudulent failure to file and this penalty can only be asserted for years after 1988 where there is clear and convincing evidence that the failure to file was done fraudulently.


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