Seven Tips for Drafting a Letter to the IRS Requesting Penalty Abatement

As citizens of the United States, we all know that our taxes are due each year. Most of us make our best effort to file our taxes on time and pay the taxes that we owe. Unfortunately, life sometimes gets in the way. Perhaps you paid your taxes late because your house in Oklahoma City burned down a week before the taxes were due or because you lost a beloved family member. Whatever the reason, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) could grant you a break on the penalties that incurred for your misstep—if there was reasonable cause.

Preparing an IRS Penalty Abatement Request Letter

In order to obtain a penalty abatement from the IRS, it is highly advisable that you first consult with an experienced tax attorney who can assist you in drafting a letter to request the abatement. Following are some tips for creating an effective letter:

  1. Be sure to use the correct IRS address. Typically, this is the address listed on the notice of tax amount due.
  2. Include your social security number in addition to the rest of your contact information.
  3. State the dollar amount of the penalties for which you are requesting an abatement.
  4. State the reason you are requesting an abatement.
  5. State the reason you incurred the penalty.
  6. Describe and enclose all of the relevant documents that support your claim.
  7. If possible, consider enclosing a payment that covers the amount of taxes that you owe, minus the penalty amount.

 

Sending this letter could be an early step towards eliminating the penalties imposed on you by the IRS.

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