Tax Penalties, Outrage and Indignation


By: Alex Franch, BS EA

If you ever filed and paid your taxes late, you may have first-hand experience with tax penalties. Sometimes this results in a little bit of interest being charged but other times it can lead to substantial dollar amounts. The IRS and Mass DOR each have their own tax penalties. Here are a few amounts:

Failure to Pay a Tax When Due

You may be subject to a maximum penalty of 25% of the tax due.  Mass DOR and the IRS both can assess a version of this penalty. This sounds like a lot, but they typically do not go from zero to sixty on this one.  Still, 25% is a hefty amount.

Failure to File a Partnership Return

Massachusetts can charge $5 for every day the partnership fails to file. Partnerships typically do not pay tax since the income passes through to the owners. This is so they cannot charge a percentage of tax owed. Nevertheless, $5 per day can add up quickly. This pales in comparison to the IRS penalty of $195 per partner, per month. This can get out of control very quickly. The good news is that the IRS penalty is capped at 12 months. Eventually however, after several years and depending on the number of partners, the Massachusetts $5/day penalty might catch up to the IRS penalty.

Failure to Satisfy a Required Minimum Distribution

The IRS is great for tax deferred growth but eventually the money has to come out.  Taxpayers are required to begin taking distributions by April 1st in the year following the year in which they turn 70-½.  If you forget - bam, 50% penalty on the required distribution.  Take that, grandma.  Outrage and Indignation to follow.

Failure to Report a Foreign Account

FCEU Tax PenaltiesAmong other tax penalties is failing to report a foreign financial account can get you in hot water with the IRS. Previously, one would file Form TDF 90-22.1 with the Department of Treasury. This was updated recently to FinCEN Form 114 and gets filed electronically with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).  They threshold for filing is $10,000 at any point during the year.  The penalty for non-willful violations is $10,000.  The penalty for willful cases is the greater of 50% of the account balance or $100,000 with the possibility of criminal prosecution.  Ouch is an understatement to say the least.

Are you looking to avoid tax penalties?

As mentioned, tax penalties can cost you a lot of money. And we believe, better money in your pocket than someone else's pocket. The best way to avoid tax penalties is to have a trusted professional. Are you are at a place in your business you need tax advice? Do you have thoughts, questions or concerns regarding how to claim the start-up costs for your small business? Please feel free to contact us, leave your comments below or post on our FacebookGoogle+ or LinkedIn pages.

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Tax Season is Here!

Time flies – before it slips away, call Alex Franch, EA at 781-849-7200 for your appointment and learn about our client discounts here.

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For more information, call Alex Franch at 781.789.7200. WorthTax has locations in Norwell, Dedham, and Weymouth, Massachussetts.
Alex Franch

Mr. Franch is a Tax Specialist and Partner at Joseph Cahill & Associates / WorthTax. He has a diverse background including a Bachelor of Science from Boston College in Mathematics and extensive military service. Mr. Franch is an Enrolled Agent and has eight years of tax preparation experience. He has been serving individuals, families, and businesses for several years with tax and financial planning strategies and is a junior partner with the firm. Mr. Franch is licensed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) with a Series 6, 63, 65, and 7, and by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Division of Insurance.

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