IRS waives penalties for qualifying farmers, fishermen


The IRS will waive the estimated tax penalty for any qualifying farmer or fisherman who files a 2018 federal income tax return and pays any tax due by Monday, April 15.

The deadline is Wednesday, April 17, for taxpayers in Maine and Massachusetts.

The IRS is providing this relief because, due to certain rule changes, many farmers and fishermen may have difficulty accurately determining their tax liability by the March 1 deadline that usually applies to them.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, wrote to IRS Commissioner Rettig last month after hearing from farmers, preparers and the Iowa State University Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation on the for the relief.

“I appreciate Commissioner Rettig’s understanding that these are unusual circumstances for farmers, with the recent government shutdown adding complications to filing season along with farmers filing their first returns under the new tax law,” Grassley said in a statement after the relief was announced. “This was precisely the type of situation Congress envisioned when it authorized the IRS to provide relief under certain circumstances.”

Senate Finance Committee chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa

Senate Finance Committee chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

For tax year 2018, an individual who received at least two-thirds of their total gross income from farming or fishing during either 2017 or 2018 qualifies as a farmer or fisherman.

To be eligible for the waiver, qualifying taxpayers must attach Form 2210-F to their 2018 income tax return. The waiver box should be checked and the rest of the form left blank.

Further details are in Notice 2019-17, posted today on

Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson

Jeff Stimpson is a veteran freelance journalist who previously served as editor of The Practical Accountant.

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