The Internal Revenue Service is giving some relief from penalties to partnerships that filed their 2016 tax returns too late this year.

The IRS issued guidance Friday offering penalty relief to partnerships that filed Form 1065 or Form 1065-B or asked for an automatic extension by filing Form 7004.

A 2015 piece of legislation, the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act, changed the date by which partnership had to file their annual tax returns. For calendar year partnerships, the due date for filing the annual return or request for an extension changed from April 15 (or April 18 this year) to March 15.

The IRS found that many partnerships managed to file their returns or their extension requests for tax year 2016 by the April deadline, and if not for the 2015 legislation, their tax returns and requests for extension of time to file would have arrived on time.

Notice 2017-47, which the IRS issued Friday, provides penalty abatement for those partnerships, as long as the partnership filed the tax returns with the IRS and gave copies to the recipients (as appropriate) by the date that would have been considered timely, or the partnership filed Form 7004 to ask for an extension of time to file by the date that would have been considered timely.

Taxpayers who qualify for relief under Notice 2017-47 won’t be treated as having received a first-time abatement under the IRS’s administrative penalty waiver program. More details are provided in Notice 2017-47.

The new deadlines were originally described in the instructions for Form 1065 and the instructions for Form 1065-B. For calendar year partnerships, the due date for filing a return after receiving an extension is Sept 15. The IRS estimates that corporations and partnerships will file nearly 6.9 million extension requests this year and it anticipates receiving more than 4 million partnership returns by the end of the year.

Form 1065

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Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn, editor-in-chief of AccountingToday.com, has been covering business and technology for a variety of publications since 1985.