Don’t forget that the IRS is often willing to cooperate in good faith with taxpayers who face legitimate reasons for not meeting all or some of their tax obligation. In certain circumstances, the IRS may grant “penalty abatement” to individuals who experience sudden or unavoidable financial hardship.
Given how imposing, powerful, and aggressive the IRS can appear at times, it’s easy to think of the bureau as monolithic — even robotic. Yet, that’s simply not the case at all. IRS agents are people too, and they’re personally assigned to review and assess individual taxpayer scenarios to ensure fairness… on both the part of the government as well as the citizen.
As such, the IRS understands that sometimes life circumstances simply make it impossible for individuals to meet a significant financial burden such as an owed tax debt. In many such cases, if communication between taxpayer and agent is consistently positive and all required steps are taken, the IRS may offer penalty abatement.
This means that the IRS can delay or forgive some — or all — of an unpaid tax balance, if it makes logical and ethical sense to do so. Of course, the individual attempting to receive penalty abatement can’t just spin any old story and hope for this treatment: the IRS will usually require substantial documented evidence of the claims being made in order to consider abatement.
You might be wondering: what kinds of life events quality for IRS penalty abatement? While there is no set, official list, there are some common situations that we have seen result in penalty abatement in the past. These include:
One of the best ways to give yourself a real chance at being offered penalty abatement is to retain representation from a qualified tax attorney. The attorneys at Abajian Law deal with IRS agents on a daily basis; they understand how to present your scenario and speak to your agent in order to save everyone time and present a compelling and legitimate case.
If you believe that you might qualify for IRS penalty abatement, it’s worth the quick phone call to Abajian Law to discuss your unique circumstances. The decision to pick up the phone and explore your legal rights in regards to penalty abatement might protect your entire financial health and prevent you from being under the burden of impossible tax debt for years to come.