IRS provides penalty relief for farmers hit by delayed start of tax season

BY ALISTAIR M. NEVIUS

The IRS on Friday announced that it will provide estimated tax penalty relief for farmers and fishermen who are not able to file and pay their 2012 taxes by the March 1 deadline due to the delayed start for filing tax returns.

Earlier this month, the IRS announced that it will not be accepting some tax forms until late February or March because these forms will require extensive programming and testing of IRS systems, which will delay the IRS’s ability to accept and process these forms (see “Start of Tax Season Delayed Until Jan. 30; Later for Some Taxpayers”). Among the affected forms is Form 4562, Depreciation and Amortization, which many farmers and fishermen file. 

Because delays in the IRS’s ability to accept and process these forms may affect the ability of many farmers and fishermen to file and pay their taxes by the March 1 deadline, the IRS says it will provide relief from the penalty for failure to pay estimated tax.

Farmers and fishermen who choose not to make quarterly estimated tax payments are usually not subject to an estimated tax penalty if they file their returns and pay the full amount of tax due by March 1. The IRS says that under the guidance to be issued, farmers or fishermen who miss the March 1 deadline will not be subject to the penalty if they file and pay by April 15, 2013.

The relief applies to all farmers and fishermen, not only those who must file late-released forms.

Farmers and fishermen must attach Form 2210-F, Underpayment of Estimated Tax by Farmers and Fishermen, to their tax return to request this penalty waiver.

Alistair M. Nevius ( anevius@aicpa.org ) is the JofA’s editor-in-chief, tax.

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