Federal income tax return penalties and what to do next

Federal income tax returns are due to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) each year on or around April 15.  Once you have filed your tax return, it is generally the end of the matter for you.  Your federal income tax return is processed and you do not think about your taxes again until the following year.

But this year for some reason you received a notice from the IRS.  Specifically, the IRS notice indicates that they are charging you a penalty related to your federal income tax return.  Why?  Read on to find out the main reason the IRS may say you owe them money and what you need to do about it.

Once you file your federal income tax return, the IRS will review the return to determine if it appears to be complete and accurate.  If the IRS deems the return is complete and accurate, they will process it.  If the IRS detects some sort of issue, they will send you a notice describing what the issue is and what it means to you.  A list of many notices the IRS may send appears on the IRS’ web site at http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96199,00.html.

If you receive a notice from the IRS indicating they are charging you a penalty, it is usually because you owe a tax liability to the IRS that you have failed to pay.  Many people do not realize that when you file your federal income tax return, if you owe a tax liability to the IRS, the IRS expects you to pay the tax liability at the time you file.  Even if you file an extension for your tax return, the extension only relates to allowing you more time to file your tax return.  The IRS still expects you to pay your tax liability due on or around April 15.

If you filed your tax return and did not owe a tax liability, yet you still received a notice from the IRS that you now owe them money related to a penalty, it is possible that you made an error on your taxes.  In the process of the IRS reviewing your tax return for completeness and accuracy, if they detect and correct an error, it could mean that you now owe money to them.  And since the IRS detected the issue after the time when you should have paid the balance due, you may not be assessed a penalty.

Whatever the reason for the penalty or money you owe to the IRS, your best option is to get help from a tax attorney.

Obtaining help from a tax attorney

If you need help with your federal income tax, you can the help you need from a tax attorney.  If you complete the short form found below, a tax attorney can review your case free of charge and start giving you direction on how to address the penalty you received from the IRS.  The tax attorney can help you with the completion of any forms or other steps necessary to address the issue.

Any conversations you have with a tax attorney are completely confidential, and the initial consultation does not obligate you to anything further.  Therefore, take advantage of this opportunity today to help minimize the money you owe to the IRS and put the matter behind you.

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by Mark Johnston

Mark has been a contributor to legal web sites related to bankruptcy, tax, and criminal law since 2011. He has an Accounting degree from Texas A&M University.