For example, the monthly penalty for failing to file a calendar-year 2015 Form 1120S for an S corporation with three shareholders is $585 ($195 times 3). If the return remains unfiled for 12 months or more, the maximum penalty equals the monthly penalty multiplied by 12. So the maximum failure-to-file penalty for a three-owner S corporation would be $7,020 ($585 times 12).
Important Note: Many federal tax penalties are assessed based on the amount of tax owed. So these penalties cannot be assessed if the taxpayer doesn’t have positive taxable income and a resulting tax bill. However, the S corporation failure-to-file penalty can be assessed whether the S corporation produces positive taxable income or not.
Therefore, filing S corporation returns can’t simply be ignored because no tax is owed.