Is the IRS Waiving Your Back Tax Penalties?

The IRS is waiving penalties for nearly $1 billion in back taxes owed during the pandemic. Here's what you should know about who's eligible and how the tax penalty relief works.

money with a bow wrapped around it
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Just in time for the holiday season, the IRS announced a move to help individuals, businesses, and tax-exempt organizations that owe back taxes. The agency says it will waive nearly $1 billion in penalties for taxes owed by more than 4.7 million people and entities that didn’t receive automated collection reminders during the COVID-19 pandemic. The penalty relief mainly targets those earning under $400,000 a year.

IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said the agency wants to help taxpayers with past-due bills.

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Kelley R. Taylor
Senior Tax Editor,

As the senior tax editor at, Kelley R. Taylor simplifies federal and state tax information, news, and developments to help empower readers. Kelley has over two decades of experience advising on and covering education, law, finance, and tax as a corporate attorney and business journalist.