Interest and Penalties

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Interest and Penalties

Interest

Interest is charged on taxes not paid by the due date, even if an extension of time to file is granted.

Interest is also charged on penalties imposed for failure to file, negligence, fraud, substantial valuation misstatements, substantial understatements of tax, and reportable transaction understatements. Interest is charged on the penalty from the due date of the return (including extensions). The interest charge is figured at a rate determined under section 6621.

Late Filing of Return

The law provides a penalty of 5% of the tax due for each month, or part of a month, for which a return is not filed up to a maximum of 25% of the tax due (15% for each month, or part of a month, up to a maximum of 75% if the failure to file is fraudulent). If the return is more than 60 days late, the minimum penalty is the smaller of $135 or the tax due.

The penalty will not be imposed if you can show that the failure to file on time was due to reasonable cause. If you receive a notice about penalty and interest after you file this return, send us an explanation and we will determine if you meet reasonable-cause criteria. Do not attach an explanation when you file Form 1041.

Late Payment of Tax

Generally, the penalty for not paying tax when due is ½ of 1% of the unpaid amount for each month or part of a month it remains unpaid. The maximum penalty is 25% of the unpaid amount. The penalty applies to any unpaid tax on the return. Any penalty is in addition to interest charges on late payments.

If you include interest on either of these penalties with your payment, identify and enter these amounts in the bottom margin of Form 1041, page 1. Do not include the interest or penalty amount in the balance of tax due on line 27.

Failure To Provide Information Timely

You must provide Schedule K-1 (Form 1041), on or before the day you are required to file Form 1041, to each beneficiary who receives a distribution of property or an allocation of an item of the estate.

For each failure to provide Schedule K-1 to a beneficiary when due and each failure to include on Schedule K-1 all the information required to be shown (or the inclusion of incorrect information), a $50 penalty may be imposed with regard to each Schedule K-1 for which a failure occurs. The maximum penalty is $100,000 for all such failures during a calendar year. If the requirement to report information is intentionally disregarded, each $50 penalty is increased to $100 or, if greater, 10% of the aggregate amount of items required to be reported, and the $100,000 maximum does not apply.

The penalty will not be imposed if the fiduciary can show that not providing information timely was due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect.

Underpaid Estimated Tax

If the fiduciary underpaid estimated tax, use Form 2210, Underpayment of Estimated Tax by Individuals, Estates, and Trusts, to figure any penalty. Enter the amount of any penalty on Form 1041, line 26.

Trust Fund Recovery Penalty

This penalty may apply if certain excise, income, social security, and Medicare taxes that must be collected or withheld are not collected or withheld, or these taxes are not paid. These taxes are generally reported on Forms 720, 941, 943, 944, or 945. The trust fund recovery penalty may be imposed on all persons who are determined by the IRS to have been responsible for collecting, accounting for, or paying over these taxes, and who acted willfully in not doing so. The penalty is equal to the unpaid trust fund tax. See the Instructions for Form 720, Pub. 15 (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide, or Pub. 51 (Circular A), Agricultural Employer's Tax Guide, for more details, including the definition of responsible persons.

Other Penalties

Other penalties can be imposed for negligence, substantial understatement of tax, and fraud. See Pub. 17, Your Federal Income Tax, for details on these penalties.