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COVID Tax Relief: IRS Provides Broad-Based Penalty Relief for Certain 2019 and 2020 Returns

To help struggling taxpayers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS issued Notice 2022-36, which provides penalty relief to most people and businesses who file certain 2019 or 2020 returns late. Nearly 1.6 million taxpayers will automatically receive more than $1.2 billion in refunds or credits. Many of these payments will be completed by the end of September.

Besides providing relief to both individuals and businesses impacted by the pandemic, this step is designed to allow the IRS to focus its resources on processing backlogged tax returns and taxpayer correspondence to help return to normal operations for the 2023 filing season.

"Throughout the pandemic, the IRS has worked hard to support the nation and provide relief to people in many different ways," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "The penalty relief issued today is yet another way the agency is supporting people during this unprecedented time. This penalty relief will be automatic for people or businesses who qualify; there's no need to call."

"Penalty relief is a complex issue for the IRS to administer," Rettig said. "We've been working on this initiative for months following concerns we've heard from taxpayers, the tax community and others, including Congress. This is another major step to help taxpayers, and we encourage those affected by this to review the guidelines."



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