Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa today urged the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service to grant penalty relief to family farmers who are forced to file their taxes late due to delays in the tax filing season.
"Farmers should not be penalized for the President and Congress' failure to act on tax legislation on a timely basis," Grassley wrote in a letter to the agencies. "The IRS should do all it can to ensure forms are ready as soon as possible, but should be prepared to grant penalty relief to farmers who are unable to meet the deadline due to the delay."
Grassley said some family farmers have a March 1 tax filing deadline. Because of the fiscal cliff debate and tax legislation enacted earlier this month, the 2012 tax year filing season is delayed. Certain forms that farmers will need to file their taxes might not be available before farmers face their filing deadline.
Grassley urged the IRS to establish procedures by which farmers could request a waiver of the estimated tax penalty they otherwise would owe for being unable to meet the March 1 deadline. The IRS implemented a similar procedure last year, when the bankruptcy of MF Global delayed the issuance of a key form to farmers.
"These procedures should be announced sooner rather than later to save farmers from the headache and heartburn associated with the current uncertainty," Grassley wrote. "Farmers already have enough to worry about given the recent drought and uncertainties surrounding congressional action on the farm bill."