IRS Provides Penalty Relief to Farmers and Fisherman

WASHINGTON– The Internal Revenue Service has announced today that it will provide relief from the estimated tax penalty for farmers and fishermen unable to file and pay their 2012 taxes by the March 1 deadline due to the delayed start for filing tax returns.

The delay stems from this month’s enactment of the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA). The ATRA affected several tax forms that are often filed by farmers and fishermen, including the Form 4562, Depreciation and Amortization (including Information on Listed Property). These forms will require extensive programming and testing of IRS systems, which will delay the IRS’s ability to accept and process these forms may affect the ability of many farmers and fishermen to file and pay their taxes by the March 1 deadline. The relief applies to all farmers and fisherman, not only those who must file late released forms.

Normally, farmers and fishermen who choose not to make quarterly estimated tax payments are not subject to a penalty if they file their returns and pay the full amount of tax due by March 1. Under the guidance to be issued, farmers or fishermen who miss the March 1 deadline will not be subject to the penalty if they file and pay by April 15, 2013. A tax payer qualifies as a farmer or fisherman for tax-year 2012 if at least two-thirds of the taxpayer’s total gross income was from farming or fishing in either 2011 or 2012.