Accuracy-related penalties are imposed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on taxpayers who underpay their taxes due to negligence, disregard of rules and regulations, substantial understatement of income tax, or a substantial valuation misstatement.
These penalties are in addition to the tax owed and can be up to 20% or 40% of the underpayment amount.
The most common underreported income IRS penalty is the negligence penalty, which applies when a taxpayer fails to exercise reasonable care in preparing their tax return.
Negligence can include simple mistakes or errors, such as failing to report all income, claiming false deductions or credits, or failing to maintain adequate records. The penalty for negligence is equal to 20% of the underpayment amount.
The disregard of rules and regulations penalty is imposed when a taxpayer knows or should have known about a rule or regulation but intentionally disregards it. This penalty is also equal to 20% of the underpayment amount.
The substantial understatement penalty is imposed when the amount of tax reported on a tax return is less than the correct amount by a significant margin. The penalty is equal to 20% of the underpayment amount, or 40% if the understatement is considered “gross.”
The substantial valuation misstatement penalty applies when a taxpayer substantially overstates or understates the value of property or assets. The penalty is equal to 20% of the underpayment amount.
In addition to these penalties, the IRS may also impose other penalties for various violations, such as failure to file or pay taxes on time, accuracy-related penalties on tax shelter items, and penalties for failing to disclose certain transactions.
It is important for taxpayers to be aware of these accuracy-related penalties and to take steps to ensure that their tax returns are accurate and complete. Taxpayers can avoid these penalties by working with a qualified tax professional, maintaining good records, and double-checking their returns for accuracy before submitting them to the IRS.