Washington (May 26, 2004) -- Approximately 1 million employers could qualify for a refund of a previously paid federal tax deposit penalty under a plan announced by the Internal Revenue Service to encourage enrollment in the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.

The EFTPS-FTD penalty refund offer allows business taxpayers an opportunity to receive an automatic one-time penalty refund if they have been assessed a deposit penalty on a Form 941, Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return. The offer is available to employers who are not mandated to use EFTPS. To qualify for the offer, the employer must use EFTPS for one year (four consecutive quarters), make all Form 941 payments on time, and have previously fully paid the penalty.

"This approach is a sound business decision for both taxpayers and the government," said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson. "Using the electronic payment system is much more accurate and much less burdensome for taxpayers. At the same time, the government saves money because there are fewer errors, fewer notices and fewer problems."

The IRS will look back up to four quarters prior to the four-quarter compliance period for a fully paid FTD penalty to abate. Penalties paid earlier than one year prior to the four-quarter compliance period are not eligible for the automatic offer.

-- WebCPA staff

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