House Dem asks IRS to help seniors avoid tax hit from IRA withdrawals

"While I appreciate the IRS' work to ensure that individuals are paying their taxes accurately, I also believe that we should not be unfairly penalizing taxpayers for mistakes they make unknowingly," he said Monday. "The IRS' push to crack down on those committing IRA withdrawal errors means that many seniors are facing unfair penalties and interest and owe money to the IRS they cannot afford to lose."

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Israel asked the IRS to ensure seniors are aware of ways to avoid steep tax hits and "keep the money they've worked so hard to save."

Israel noted that failure to withdraw IRA funds after the age of 70 and a half could lead to penalties of up to 50 percent of the amount that should have been withdrawn.

He also said he wrote to the IRS in January asking officials to improve their education efforts on taxes, and to find ways to reduce penalties against seniors in some cases. That letter, however, was met with no reply from the IRS.