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OPINION/Rare Relief: IRS refunding late penalties for 2019, 2020

September 12, 2022 at 10:00 p.m.

If the COVID-19 pandemic got in the way of filing your federal income tax return in 2019 and 2020, you likely were assessed a late penalty.

The Internal Revenue Service tacks on a 5% penalty of the amount you owe for every month a return is late. The tax-collecting agency also charges a 0.5% for every month the money isn't sent in.

That half-percent is likely gone, but if you act fast you could get the higher 5% penalty back in your bank account.

In late August, the IRS announced it will refund the penalty for those who have already paid. That's about 1.6 million Americans who can expect an average of $750, give or take, automatically heading their way by the end of the month. The total amount is about $1.2 billion.

"Throughout the pandemic, the IRS has worked hard to support the nation and provide relief to people in many different ways," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig in a press release. "The penalty relief issued today is yet another way the agency is supporting people during this unprecedented time. This penalty relief will be automatic for people or businesses who qualify; there's no need to call."

But what if you still haven't filed? You have until September 30 to get your return to the IRS.

So hurry up if you need to and enjoy your refund when it arrives. The IRS doesn't giveth back what it had taketh every often.

Print Headline: OPINION/Rare Relief: IRS refunding late penalties for 2019, 2020

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