Mnuchin to consider providing more penalty relief for taxpayers

Mnuchin to consider providing more penalty relief for taxpayers
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Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinIran: Rouhani, Trump won't meet at United Nations Trump denies reports he's willing to meet with Iran with 'no conditions' Turkey confirms delivery of second Russian anti-missile system MORE said Thursday the administration will consider providing additional penalty relief for people who didn't have enough money withheld from their paychecks last year amid pressure to provide more help for taxpayers in the first filing season under President TrumpDonald John TrumpTed Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report US service member killed in Afghanistan Pro-Trump website edited British reality star's picture to show him wearing Trump hat MORE's tax-cut law.

"We will review it very quickly," Mnuchin said at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing, where lawmakers from both parties pressed him on the issue.

The IRS last year issued new guidance on tax withholding from people's paychecks that reflects key parts of Trump's tax law. Lawmakers are concerned about taxpayers who unexpectedly have to pay the IRS money this year and face penalties instead of receiving a refund because of the withholding guidance.


Most people are getting a tax cut, and it's possible for taxpayers to have received a tax cut even if they have a balance due to the IRS. But people often count on their refunds for savings and to make major purchases.

The IRS in January announced that it would waive penalties for people who paid at least 85 percent of their 2018 tax liability throughout last year — which is lower than the usual threshold of 90 percent.

Rep. Kenny MarchantKenny Ewell MarchantWave of GOP retirements threatens 2020 comeback Texas Republicans sound alarm about rapidly evolving state House conservatives call for ethics probe into Joaquin Castro tweet MORE (R-Texas) asked Mnuchin if the IRS would look at lowering that threshold further, to 80 percent.

"We believe that there is some confusion, some genuine confusion out there, and I think it would be a good-faith effort on the part of us to our hard-working constituents," Marchant said.

Marchant said he's heard from residents and small businesses in his district who are facing underpayment penalties for the first time this year.

"In this year of transition, many of them — whether they got bad advice from their HR department or whether they just guessed wrong or were too optimistic — some of them did not have enough withheld," Marchant said.

Mnuchin replied that "we will consider 80 [percent]."

Rep. Judy ChuJudy May ChuLawmakers urge DNC to name Asian American debate moderator US must stay true to its values and fight the public charge rule Pelosi predicts Trump public charge rule will be 'swiftly challenged and defeated' MORE (D-Calif.), who has offered legislation to lower the threshold to 80 percent, said that Marchant's comments "shows that this is not a partisan issue.”

She asked Mnuchin what the time frame would be for considering additional penalty relief, since the tax-filing deadline is only one month away.

“I will look at it tomorrow and we will try make a decision within the next week on this,” Mnuchin replied.