December 17, 2020

Cortez Masto Urges Trump Administration to Waive Late Filing Penalties for Taxpayers

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined U.S. Senators Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and twelve Senate colleagues in a bipartisan letter to U.S. Department of the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Charles Rettig urging the Trump Administration to waive late filing penalties for taxpayers whose filing delay is caused by COVID-19.

Other Senators include Senators John Kennedy (R-La.), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), M. Michael Rounds (R-S.D.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), and Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.).

“Many taxpayers are facing economic hardships and business closures due to COVID-19,” the senators wrote. “Taxpayers expect fair treatment from their government, and the current unwillingness to provide an expedited process for taxpayers and their advisors to request pandemic-specific relief places an undue burden on them. We ask that you move to address these issues immediately so the American people can receive the relief they urgently need.”

A full copy of the letter can be found HERE.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disastrous impact on working-class people across the nation as many taxpayers are now facing economic hardships and business closures. The need for federal financial relief is ever-more present each day, not only in direct monetary assistance, but also in easing the burden of taxes and tax payments. This letter requests the Internal Revenue Service to:

  • Create a special COVID-19 First Time Abatement option for eligible taxpayers.
  • Provide written guidance directing IRS Customer Service Representatives to grant reasonable cause and COVID-related abatement requests liberally.
  • Develop specific coronavirus-related examples that qualify for reasonable cause abatement.
  • Develop a dedicated telephone number for taxpayers or their advisors to call to request coronavirus-related penalty relief.

Each of these initiatives would help to expedite the process taxpayers and their advisors to request pandemic-specific relief, and allow more people to gain the assistance they need.