On August 28, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) announced that the 2019 Fourth Quarter IRS underpayment and overpayment interest rates will not change from the 3rd Quarter of 2019. This means that, the 2019 Fourth 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 July of 2019 to determine the 2019 Fourth Quarter IRS interest rates The IRS interest is compounded on a daily basis.
2019 Fourth Quarter IRS interest rates are important for many reasons. These are the rates that the IRS uses 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 2019 Fourth 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. Surprisingly, we often see this scenario arise in the context of offshore voluntary disclosures.