Stuck with penalties for failure to pay?

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    On 7/13/20 I mailed two checks to pay for the Federal IRS and NY State income taxes due for 1041 tax returns that were e-filed on time by my CPA (I am trustee of a personal trust). The checks were sent on time since they had to be postmarked on or before 7/15/20.

    I handed them to the guy at the post office counter and told him to send them first class, then paid.

    The NY check was cashed in a few days. I have been checking to see if the IRS check was cased for a few weeks, noticed it was not, and knew there must be a problem.

    Yesterday I received a notice from the IRS that payment was not received and tacking on a “failure to pay” penalty and an interest charge.

    In 47 years of paying income taxes, I have never had this happen before. I guess there’s always a first time. Yes, I know, maybe I should have sent the check by another method rather than first class, but after 47 years, it seems like a reasonable thing to do. I pay most of my taxes online now, but wasn’t sure if the 1041 taxes could be paid that way or not and so I just sent a check. I have copies of the check and the envelope and triple checked them. They are correct. The check is properly made out and the address it is sent to is correct. I guess it’s just bad luck…. or the pandemic (PS my CPA and his office got Covid and he was in the hospital so he didn’t get the returns done until the last minute and I had to rush to get the checks out).

    My question is. Do I have any recourse about the extra charges or am I out of luck and just have to pay them?

    Thank you.


    Did you have the right info on the check? usually they ask for the tax form type it is for and the SSN on the return so they know where to credit it? You could try calling them and getting a sympathetic ear…….seems to take 15-30 min, but more weighted toward 30 min.


    Thank you. Yes, everything on the check was perfect, exactly as the instructions ask for and all the numbers correct.

    And yes, I think the phone call is the only hope… but it’s a long shot. I don’t want to do anything that will cause a delay because that will only tack on more charges. So if they tell me to mail something in for them to consider, I may end up just swallowing hard and paying the penalty. Don’t want to find out 3 months from now that they didn’t accept my explanation.


    Okay… took 3 days to finally get through, but eventually did.

    I was told that they are way behind in processing payments because of the pandemic and recommending not to stop the check and to wait 8 more weeks to allow for processing it. I also confirmed that everything was correct including the address to which the check was sent.

    I’m hopeful, but a little scared. Hope I don’t sit around for 8 weeks feeling hopeful only to find that the bill then ends up being even higher. I’ve never been much of a gambler.

    Nonetheless, I’m going to take their recommendation and see what happens. Fingers crossed!

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