Automatic Waiver of Estimated Tax Penalty for Eligible 2018 Filers

John (Rusty) Davis, CPA

Earlier this year, the IRS expanded the Section 6654 penalty waiver to individuals whose total withholding and estimated tax payments equaled or exceeded 80% of the tax shown on their 2018 returns. (The usual percentage threshold is 90%.) Recently, the IRS announced that it will automatically apply this waiver to the more than 400,000 eligible taxpayers who already filed their 2018 returns, but failed to claim the waiver. Relief is automatic, so there is no need to contact the agency to request the waiver. Over the next few months, the IRS will mail copies of CP 21 notices granting relief to affected taxpayers. In addition, eligible taxpayers who already paid the penalty will receive a refund check about three weeks after receiving their notice, regardless if they requested penalty relief.