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TimeValue Software Blog

Accuracy Related Penalties and Related Interest

By Martel Pellerin

They say accuracy is paramount. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) imposes accuracy-related penalties to ensure taxpayers meet their obligations accurately and honestly. Understanding these penalties and their basis is crucial for individuals and businesses to avoid costly consequences. Let’s delve into the details of IRS accuracy-related penalties and interest and explore the underlying basis for their assessment.

Accuracy-related penalties are fines imposed by the IRS on taxpayers who fail to comply with tax laws accurately. These penalties typically arise from errors or negligence in tax reporting, underpayment of taxes, or substantial understatement of income. The accuracy-related penalties, including negligence and fraud, apply only when a return has been filed. With built-in IRS regulations and comprehensive calculation capabilities, TaxInterest ensures accuracy and the necessary supporting details in the related documentation.

Negligence §6662(c): The negligence penalty is 20% of the underpayment to which §6662 (accuracy-related penalties) applies. It applies when taxpayers fail to exercise reasonable care in preparing their tax returns or disregard tax rules and regulations.

Substantial Understatement of Income Tax §6662(d): The substantial understatement penalty is computed at a 20% rate. The penalty is based on the amount of understatement of income tax for a tax year. It applies if the understatement exceeds the greater of 10% of the tax required to be shown on the return or $5,000 ($10,000 for corporations other than an S corporation or personal holding company).

Substantial Valuation Misstatement §6662(e): This penalty applies when taxpayers substantially misstate the value of property claimed on their tax returns. The penalty rate is based on the degree of misstatement: 200% or more but under 400% incurs a 20% penalty, and 400% or more incurs a 40% penalty. It applies only if the underpayment exceeds $5,000 ($10,000 for certain corporations).

Substantial Overstatement of Pension Liabilities §6662(f): This penalty is based on the amount of underpayment of tax for a taxable year attributable to a pension liability overstatement. Similar to the valuation misstatement penalty, it incurs a 20% penalty for misstatements of 200% or more but under 400%, and a 40% penalty for misstatements of 400% or more. The penalty applies if the underpayment exceeds $1,000.

Substantial Estate or Gift Tax Valuation Understatement §6662(g): This penalty applies to substantial estate or gift tax valuation understatements. It incurs a 20% penalty if the claimed property value is 65% or less of the correct valuation amount and a 40% penalty if it's 40% or less. The penalty is imposed if the understatement attributable to the valuation understatement exceeds $5,000.

Fraud §6663: The penalty is 75% of the underpayment amount due to fraud.

Yes, there is interest. Interest on accuracy-related penalties begins on the due date of the return, including any extensions, and ends on the date the penalty is paid.

TaxInterest incorporates all these accuracy-related penalties into its program, allowing users to quickly activate the penalty, update extension dates if applicable, and apply the appropriate amount. TaxInterest will then calculate the related penalty and interest.

If you need any help with interest and penalty calculations using TaxInterest, please give our TimeValue Software Support Team a call at 800-426-4741 or email us at