On December 6, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) announced that the 2020 First Quarter IRS underpayment and overpayment interest rates will not change from the 4th Quarter of 2019. This means that, the 2020 First Quarter IRS underpayment and overpayment interest rates will be as follows:
- five (5) percent for overpayments (four (4) percent in the case of a corporation);
- two and one-half (2.5) percent for the portion of a corporate overpayment exceeding $10,000;
- five (5) percent for underpayments; and
- seven (7) percent for large corporate underpayments.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, the rate of interest is determined on a quarterly basis. The IRS used the federal short-term rate for October of 2019 to determine the 2020 First Quarter IRS interest rates. The IRS interest is compounded on a daily basis.
2010 First Quarter IRS interest rates are important to US international tax lawyers and taxpayers. The IRS uses these rates to determine how much interest a taxpayer needs to pay on an additional tax liability that arose as a result of an IRS audit or an amendment of his US tax return. The IRS also utilizes these rates with respect to the calculation of PFIC interest on Section 1291 tax.
As an international tax law firm, Sherayzen Law Office keeps track of the IRS underpayment interest rates on a regular basis. We often amend our client’s tax returns as part of an offshore voluntary disclosure process. For example, both Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures and Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures require that a taxpayer amends his prior US tax returns, determines the additional tax liability and calculates the interest on this liability.
Moreover, we very often have to do PFIC calculations for our clients under the default IRC Section 1291 methodology. This calculation requires the usage of the IRS underpayment interest rates in order to determine the amount of PFIC interest on the IRC Section 1291 tax.
Finally, it is important to point out that the IRS will use the 2020 First Quarter IRS overpayment interest rates to determine the amount of interest that needs to be paid to a taxpayer who is due a tax refund as a result of an IRS audit or amendment of the taxpayer’s US tax return. This situation may often arise in the context of offshore voluntary disclosures.