May 1, 2022 - Douglas Myser

Superfund taxpayers granted penalty relief. The IRS provided temporary relief from a penalty for failure to deposit Superfund excise taxes and affirmed the availability of a safe harbor for deposits. The relief in Notice 2022-15 released friday applies to semimonthly deposits due in the third and fourth calendar quarters of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023. During the first through third quarters of 2023, the IRS will not withdraw the availability of a deposit safe harbor due to a failure to make required deposits of Superfund taxes, provided certain requirements are met. The Superfund, or the Hazardous Substance Response Trust Fund, was first enacted in 1980. It taxes certain chemicals and chemical substances to fund cleanups of hazardous substances in the environment. The tax provisions sunset in 1995 but the law remained on the books, which taxes certain chemicals sold by their manufacturer, producer, or importer, and Sec. 4671, which taxes related substances sold or used by importers. Superfund taxpayers granted penalty relief.

In Notice 2021-66, the IRS published a list of taxable substances supplementing the statutory one, as required under the Infrastructure Act, and solicited comments. One of the seven comment letters received to date pointed out that the deposit safe harbor eligibility calculation for a calendar quarter involves taxpayer's liability in a lookback quarter two calendar quarters prior. Since the reinstated taxes take effect July 1, 2022, no such lookback quarter will be available until the first calendar quarter of 2023. The IRS acknowledged that observation in granting the relief, as well as the short time between the taxes reinstatement and the first deposit's due date, along with the initial difficulties in computing the taxes and making the deposits.

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