This tax season has been one for the ages. The IRS seems to understand this better than most and has made several concessions to accommodate frustrated citizens.

Better late than never

The latest news is that there are accommodations for those who could not make the April 15 deadline. The IRS encourages late filers to do it as soon as possible to avoid mounting fines, but if the filer pays 80% of their obligation on time, they will not be fined for underpaying. Disaster victims and military personnel and eligible support personnel in combat zones will also have more time to file. And finally, U.S. citizens living outside the United States and Puerto Rico will have more time to pay what they owe.

What happens to those who wait?

Normally a .5% penalty of the total amount owed is added each month. If a return is filed within 60 days (June 13), the minimum amount owed with be $210 or 100% of the amount owed (whichever is less). If the obligation is more than $210, the penalty will be at least $210. Those who fail to file on-time can also apply for penalty relief, and should particularly if 2019 is their first time paying late.

What happens if I found an error?

Sometimes taxpayers will find an error or omission in the return they filed. IRS automatically corrects any math errors and notifies the taxpayer by mail. They also send letters requesting missing forms and letters. Taxpayers can also file an amended 1040X with the correct income, deductions or credits.

What happens if I get a letter from the IRS?

A taxpayer who gets a letter from the IRS disputing the amount of their tax obligation is advised to speak with a knowledgeable tax law attorney. Based on the way the IRS is willing to be patient with taxpayers this year, appealing the IRS’s findings with help from an attorney will likely lower or eliminate the additional obligation.