The IRS has decided to waive certain late-payment penalties relating to the tax on foreign earnings that was included as part of the latest tax reform. It also provided some clarifications regarding filing due dates.
Section 965 of the tax code, enacted as part of December’s tax overhaul, imposes a transition tax on the untaxed foreign earnings of foreign corporations owned by U.S. shareholders by deeming these earnings to be repatriated. Foreign earnings held in the form of cash and cash equivalents are taxed at 15.5 percent; remaining earnings are taxed at an 8 percent rate. The tax is to be made in installments over an eight-year period when the taxpayer files a timely election under section 965. For more information about the new deemed repatriation provisions, see my related blog.
In its June 4, 2018, announcement, the IRS announced the following changes:
- For individual taxpayers who missed the April 18, 2018 deadline for their first installment payment and have a transition tax liability under $1 million, the IRS will waive the late-payment penalty as long as the installment is paid in full by April 15, 2019. Without this relief the taxpayer’s remaining installments would have become due immediately.
- In certain instances, the IRS will waive the estimated tax penalty for taxpayers who improperly attempted to apply a 2017 calculated overpayment to their 2018 estimated tax, as long as they make all required estimated tax payments by June 15, 2018.
- Individuals who filed a 2017 return without electing to pay the transition tax in eight annual installments can still make the election by filing a 2017 Form 1040X with the IRS. The amended Form 1040 must be filed by Oct. 15, 2018.