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Tax penalty abatement, part 2: how do you request one?

Let's resume the discussion of tax penalty abatement that we began a few weeks ago.

As we pointed out in our April 29 post, the term "abatement" is not without ambiguity. When applied to tax penalties, it could refer to paying less - or it could refer to getting out from under the penalty entirely.

In this part of the post, we will explain some of the ways in which taxpayers can push back against tax penalties that the IRS tries to impose.

One of those ways, as we discussed in part one, is to object to the proposed penalty before the IRS has taken action to make it a formally assessed tax penalty.

Even if the penalty has been formally assessed, however, you can still make a request for penalty abatement.

With other types of tax controversy, it is often necessary to pay a tax first before contesting it. But this is not the case with a request for penalty abatement. You can make the request even if you have not paid the penalty.

If you would rather pay the penalty before seeking an abatement of the penalty, you can do it that way too. What you would do is pay the penalty and file a claim for a tax refund and request for an abatement.

One way to do this is by using Form 843. Another is by sending an abatement letter. A tax attorney can advise you about which method makes the most sense for you.

Keep in mind that if you do intend to seek an abatement of penalties, it is important to do so in a timely manner. When you receive a notice from the IRS informing you of the penalty, you should decide upon your course of action.

An attorney who is experienced in tax law can counsel you on how to proceed.

To learn more about our practice, please visit our page on tax penalty abatement.

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