By Rick Allen, CPA-East Texas
Many taxpayers across Texas timely filed federal tax returns and extensions or made tax payments via the U.S. mail on or before April 15, 2015, only to receive notices of late-filing and late-payment penalties. Due to IRS mail handling procedures, some campuses may be incorrectly recording taxpayers’ actual filing dates and payment dates. It is our understanding that this may be a national, systemic issue. Of course, it ties up valuable IRS resources in handling erroneous notices, costs taxpayers money due to preparers having to reply to erroneous notices, and creates unnecessary concern by taxpayers who think their hired professionals let them down in some way.
An IRS representative has shared the following informal responses:
- With regard to the extensions – The IRS has revised instructions for Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, for tax year 2015 to read: “Note: If you e-file Form 4868 and mail a check or money order to the IRS for payment, use a completed paper Form 4868 as a voucher. Please note with your payment that your extension request was originally filed electronically.”
- With regard to the delays processing the certified mail – The IRS is aware of this issue and believes it has been resolved. For any outstanding accounts, the taxpayer or practitioner may write to the IRS to state that their payment was timely made and include a copy of the canceled check and a copy of the postal tracking record. This correspondence should be mailed, along with a copy of the IRS notice received, to the address on the notice.
Although the 4868 revision provides an interim measure to aid in date-filed errors, we have not seen similar changes to Form 7004, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns, particularly as it relates to making extension payments for trusts.
Revised Form 4868: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4868.pdf
IRS Procedures for Certified Mail: IRM 184.108.40.206.4.8 Registered and Certified Mail