Tax Dictionary – Penalty Abatement

IRS Definition:

You may qualify for relief from penalties if you made an effort to comply with the requirements of the law, but were unable to meet your tax obligations, due to circumstances beyond your control.

More from H&R Block:

Penalty abatement (removal) is available for certain penalties, under certain circumstances. The most common types of penalty abatement are due to reasonable cause or first-time penalty abatement.

You can request reasonable cause penalty abatement by writing the IRS:

  • State the type of penalty you want removed.
  • Include an explanation of the events and specific facts and circumstances of your situation, and explain how these events were outside of your control.
  • Attach documents that will prove your case.

The IRS will review the facts of your case and consider the effort you made to file your tax return and/or pay your taxes on time. The IRS will also consider your prior history of filing and paying your taxes on time.

First-time penalty abatement only applies to one tax year. If you’re eligible, you may be able to obtain first-time abatement with a call to the IRS.

Learn how to address IRS penalties.

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