IRS Form 843 (Request for Abatement & Refund): Instructions & Details

IRS Form 843

Purposes of IRS Form 843

You can use Form 843 to request the IRS to abate or erase certain taxes, penalties, fees, and interest. In most cases, you can only get the interest erased if it’s related to an IRS error or delay. Here are the most common reasons to use this form to:

  • Request an abatement of tax other than income, estate, or gift tax
  • Request an abatement related to an IRS error or delay
  • Request abatement due to incorrect written advice from the IRS
  • Request an abatement for reasonable cause (excluding erroneous written advice by the IRS)
  • Request a refund of penalties you have already paid
  • Request a refund of taxes withheld by your employer in error, but only if your employer refuses to adjust the issue
  • A refund of the penalty imposed under section 6715 for misuse of dyed fuel

Generally, you have to file a separate Form 843 for each type of tax or fee, or for each tax year.


Filling out IRS Form 843

This form requires the following basic information:

  • Your name, address, and social security number
  • Spouse’s social security number
  • Your employer identification number (if making a request related to your business)
  • The dates of the tax period related to the request
  • The type of tax or fee you want to be abated or erased
  • The type of return you filed (for example, if this relates to a personal return, you tick box 1040)

If you are requesting a penalty abatement, you need to put in the Internal Revenue Code section number related to the penalty. This number should be on the notice you received from the IRS about the penalty. For example, if your penalty is for filing late, that relates to Internal Revenue Code 6651. You write that number on line 4 of the form.

In section 5 of Form 843, the IRS asks you to choose one of the following reasons for your request:

  • IRS errors or delays
  • Erroneous written information from the IRS
  • Reasonable Cause

If you don’t want to choose one of these reasons, you can write in a reason in section 7. That reduces your chances of approval. Whether you select one of these three reasons or make up your own, you have to show your computations.

You can attach additional information. Put your name, social security number, or employer identification number on all extra sheets.

Where to Submit Form 843 to the IRS

If you received a notice, send Form 843 and supporting documents to the address on the notice. Otherwise, send the form to the IRS service center closest to you. If you file a 1040 tax return, these are the addresses for the service centers based on location.

How Long Does the IRS Take to Respond to Form 843? 

The IRS typically responds to form 843 within a few weeks or months, depending on the complexity of your case and the volume of requests they are currently processing. If you are dealing with a particularly complex or urgent matter, it may take longer, so it's important to be patient and stay in touch with the IRS to follow up on your request. Additionally, it's always a good idea to get help from an experienced tax professional who can walk you through the process and help you navigate any potential roadblocks.

What You Cannot Request Using Form 843

You can only apply for abatement for certain types of tax, interest, penalties, and fees. For instance, you can file a request for abatement of interest or penalties related to income tax, but you cannot file a request for abatement of income tax. You also cannot use Form 843 for the following reasons:

  • Amend a previously filed income or employment tax return
  • Claim a refund of agreement fees, offer-in-compromise fees, or lien fees
  • Request an abatement of gift or estate taxes
  • If you are an employer, you can’t use this form to request a refund or abatement of FICA tax, Railroad Retirement Tax, or income tax withholding

There are many circumstances where you need to request refunds or tax abatements using another form. If you receive a notice from the IRS, you should follow the instructions on the notice. General using Form 843 is the preferred method for requesting abatement because it contains the minimal amount of information needed to determine if you qualify. If more details are needed, sometimes it is a good idea to request abatement in writing. There are many ways to request abatement and sometimes it can simply be done via a phone call. A tax professional can also help you decide which form you need or which method to use to request abatement. For more information on IRS Form 843, see the IRS directions.

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