You can get a refund from the IRS if you filed your taxes late during the pandemic

You can get a refund from the IRS if you filed your taxes late during the pandemic

By: Joe Hernandez | NPR

Posted on:

WASHINGTON DC (NPR) – Individuals and businesses who paid a penalty for filing their 2019 and 2020 tax returns late will automatically receive a refund from the IRS.

The IRS estimates it will reimburse more than $1.2 billion in penalties for failing to report to about 1.6 million taxpayers. Most refunds will be made by the end of September.

The tax agency announced last month that it would return the money it imposed on taxpayers for failing to file their taxes on time during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The penalty relief issued today is another way the agency is supporting people during this unprecedented time,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in an August statement announcing the refunds.

The IRS said issuing the refunds would also allow the agency “to focus its resources on processing pending tax returns and taxpayer correspondence” ahead of the 2023 filing season.

How refunds will work

Taxpayers who file their return late are generally charged a penalty of 5% of what they owe per month, up to a maximum of 25% of their unpaid tax bill.

It is not necessary to contact the agency to request your reimbursement. The IRS says refunds will be sent automatically.

Taxpayers who received a late filing fee but never paid it will have that fee waived.

Default penalties are not eligible for refund, the IRS said.

The vast majority of refunds will be sent by check while a small percentage of taxpayers will receive their refunds by direct deposit, according to the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent organization within the IRS.

To qualify for a refund under the program, individuals and businesses must have filed their late 2019 and 2020 tax returns by September 30, 2022. The Taxpayer Advocate Service urges taxpayers to file by electronic way.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To learn more, visit

Comments are closed.