Requesting & Filing for IRS Penalty Abatement

penalty abatement request

There are a few ways to request penalty abatement from the IRS. To be successful, you need to understand the requirements before submitting your request. Here are three options:

  • Written Petition — A letter stating why your penalties should be erased.
  • IRS Form 843 (Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement) — This is the official form for an abatement request. You can include a written petition along with this form.
  • Verbally — If for some reason you cannot write, you can meet in person or talk to someone over the telephone to explain your situation. In most cases, we recommend you apply for first-time penalty abatement over the phone.

Supporting Documents for Penalty Abatement

With all of these methods, you need to show the IRS evidence of the reason why you are requesting abatement. For instance, if you are claiming that a family member’s death prevented you from filing on time, you need a copy of the death certificate. Moreover, other examples include doctor’s notes for illnesses and proof of insurance claims related to natural disasters, theft, or fire.

Additional Tips for a Penalty Abatement Request

If you want the IRS to eliminate penalties, you should keep the following tips in mind.

  • If using a written petition, write it like a formal letter.
  • Make your letter short and to the point. Provide ample details without over-explaining.
  • If you choose to submit IRS Form 843, it is a good idea to submit a written petition as well.
  • Be sure to submit supporting documentation for the reason you are claiming.
  • Don’t send the IRS original copies of your documents. Only send copies in case something gets lost.
  • Send the written petition to the address listed on the assessment letter you received from the IRS.
  • If you want to verbally request penalty abatement, contact your nearest IRS office and ask for a face-to-face meeting.

When you mail your documents to the correct address for your penalty abatement request, the IRS should respond within 60 days. If the IRS doesn’t respond, send another copy of your request and the supporting documents. If the IRS denies your request, you cannot use the same reason to apply again.

If you are looking for assistance with a tax professional who has penalty abatement experience, you can start here or you can begin a search below: 


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