Late Form 8300: What to Do if You Failed to File IRS Form 8300

If you received payments of more than $10,000 in cash or cash equivalents, you need to file IRS Form 8300 within 15 days. If you didn’t file it, you could be looking at over $3 million in penalties and jail time. Here’s what you need to know to reduce the consequences of a late Form 8300.

This post is provided for general information only. Please confirm the details and circumstances of your unique situation with your tax accountant or other appropriate advisor before taking action.

What are the penalties for not filing Form 8300?

The penalties for not filing IRS Form 8300 or for filing it late go up with inflation each year.

  • Negligently failing to file or include all required information (didn’t know had to file or made reasonable errors): $280 per form up to $3,392,000 per year. The cap is reduced to $1,130,500 if your business has less than $5 million in annual gross receipts.
  • Late filing but within 30 days of due date: $50 per form up to $565,000 per year ($197,500 for gross receipts under $5 million).
  • Negligently failing to provide or providing late notice to the person required to be identified on Form 8300: See above.
  • Intentionally disregarding the requirement to file Form 8300: The greater of (per form) $28,260 or the amount of cash received up to $113,000.
  • Intentionally disregarding the requirement to notify the person required to be identified on Form 8300: The greater of (per form) $560 or 10% of the cash received.

Criminal felony charges may apply for:

  • Willfully failing to file, willfully failing to file timely, or willfully failing to include complete and correct information
  • Willfully filing a materially false Form 8300
  • Attempting to interfere with or prevent the seller or business from filing a correct Form 8300 such as by attempting to structure a transaction to avoid reporting requirements

When do you need to file Form 8300?

You must file Form 8300 if you receive a payment of more than $10,000 in cash in a trade or business.

What counts as a payment for the purposes of Form 8300?

A payment can be

  • A single payment more than $10,000
  • Installment payments causing the amount received within a 12 month period to total more than $10,000
  • Previously unreported payments that cause the total cash received within a 12 month period to total more than $10,000

A payment is from a single buyer or agent. It can be for a single transaction or for related transactions.

What counts as cash for the purposes of Form 8300?

Coins and currency always count as cash. Personal checks never count as cash.

Cashier’s checks, bank drafts, traveler’s checks, and money orders have special rules.

  • Face value more than $10,000: No Form 8300 needed (the government has other ways of tracking this money through the bank that issued the instrument)
  • Face value under $10,000: Form 8300 needed if the payment is for a designated reporting transaction or you know the customer is trying to avoid reporting of the transaction.

A designated reporting transaction is the retail sale of any of the following.

  • A consumer durable such as an automobile, boat, or property other than land or buildings that:
    • Is suitable for personal use
    • Can reasonably be expected to last at least one year under ordinary use
    • Has sales price of more than $10,000
    • Can be seen or touched (tangible property)
  • A collectible such as a work of art, rug, antique, metal, gem, stamp or coin.
  • Travel or entertainment, if the total sales price of all items sold for the same trip or entertainment event in one transaction or related transactions is more than $10,000. The total sales price of all items sold for a trip or entertainment event, which includes the sales price of items such as airfare, hotel rooms and admission tickets.

When do you file Form 8300 if you receive multiple payments?

If you receive payments in installments or other circumstances that require Form 8300, file it within 15 days of

  • The total payments you’ve received within 12 months exceeding $10,000. For example, if you receive two $5,000 installments, report the transaction when receiving the second installment.
  • Having reason to believe the person is attempting to avoid reporting.

Where do you file IRS Form 8300?

Businesses can file Form 8300 electronically using the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Electronic Filing (E-Filing) System. Businesses can also mail the Form 8300 to the IRS at

The Detroit Federal Building
P.O. Box 32621
Detroit, MI 48232

What should you do if you failed to file Form 8300?

If you didn’t file Form 8300 on time, you may want to consult with a lawyer. The monetary penalties are large, and there are possible felony charges.

If you truly didn’t know about the Form 8300 requirements, you may be able to reduce the penalties. However, anything you say to the IRS can and will be used against you. Explain your situation to your lawyer, and let your lawyer talk to the IRS.

You probably don’t want to use an accountant to correct a failure to file Form 8300. An accountant can’t help with possible criminal charges. An accountant doesn’t come with attorney-client privilege. The IRS can force your accountant to tell them what you told your accountant. The IRS can’t force your lawyer to tell them what you told your lawyer.

If you are late but still within the 30-day window, you may want to quickly file to limit your penalty to $50. It’s still a good idea to contact a lawyer to minimize your potential consequences.

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