Tax Dictionary – IRS Penalties

IRS Definition

Common penalties include:

  • Failure to file: when you don’t file your tax return by the return due date, April 15, or extended due date if an extension to file is requested and approved
  • Failure to pay: when you don’t pay the taxes reported on your return in full by the due date, April 15. An extension to file doesn’t extend the time to pay.
  • Failure to pay proper estimated tax: when you don’t pay enough taxes due for the year with your quarterly estimated tax payments when required
  • Dishonored check: when your bank doesn’t honor your check or other form of payment

More from H&R Block

In 2015, the IRS charged penalties to 27 million taxpayers.

The majority (98%) of those penalties were:

Only 12% of those penalties were removed (abated). To have a penalty abated, you’ll need to call or write the IRS. You may be able to get a penalty removed simply because you haven’t had any IRS penalties charged in the last three years. This option, known as first-time abatement, is available for failure to file and failure to pay penalties.

Learn how to address IRS penalties.

Related Topics

Related Resources

IRS Letter 2273C – Installment Agreement Accepted

Learn more about letter 2273C, why you received it, and how to handle an IRS 2273C letter with help from the tax experts at H&R Block.

IRS Notice CP30 – Your Refund Has Been Reduced

Learn more about notice CP30, why the IRS reduced your refund, and how to address the notice with help from the tax experts at H&R Block.

Tax Dictionary – First-Time Penalty Abatement

Learn about IRS first-time penalty abatement, a little-known option for certain penalties. Read the IRS definition and more from the experts at H&R Block.

IRS Letter 5044 – Second Notice

Learn more about IRS Letter 5044 and how to handle an inquiry of your business' income with help from the tax experts at H&R Block.