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If Your Return Preparer E-Files Your Return Late, You Can Be Hit with Late Filing and Late Payment Penalties by ROBERT S. HORWITZ

Taxpayers are required to file their tax returns by the due date. They cannot delegate that duty to an accountant, attorney, or other agent. They cannot rely on an agent’s statement that an extension to file has been obtained. A taxpayer cannot avoid a late filing or late payment penalty because the accountant failed to send the return in on time. This was the teaching of United States v. Boyle, 469 U.S. 241 (1985), where the Supreme Court upheld failure to file penalties against an executor who relied on the estate’s attorneys to prepare and file an estate tax return on time.

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