Skip page Logo and Brand information to navigation. Skip page header section and navigation, to main content.

How to Abate Your Penalties

There are three different ways to request for an abatement with the IRS. Be sure you understand and know exactly how and why you meet the requirements before submitting your request. Below are the three different ways you can request penalty abatement:

  1. Written Petition – A letter stating why you qualify to get your penalties abated. This is the most commonly used method.
  2. Verbally – If for some reason you cannot write, you can meet in person or talk to someone over the telephone to state your case
  3. IRS Form 843 – This IRS form is titled “Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement”. This form is typically submitted with a small written petition as well.

With your written petition attach copies of evidence of why you are requesting penalty abatement – such as a death certificate of family member, doctors notice of illness, insurance claim of some natural disaster, theft or fire, or anything that you have that can show some support to your reason for not filing or paying. (See Sample Penalty Abatement Petition) This petition should be setup as a formal letter to the IRS making a request for your penalties to be abated. Below are some important tips for requesting penalty abatement:

  • Submit the written petition to the address listed on the assessment letter you received from the IRS.
  • Be sure to submit supporting documentation for the reason you are claiming.
  • Don’t send the IRS original copies of documents you have. Be sure to make a copy of everything you send to the IRS in case you do not hear back from them or they “lose” the information you submitted.
  • No need to be extremely detailed in your letter, be brief but still give enough explanation.
  • If for some reason you cannot mail your letter and you would like to meet with a person, you can contact your local IRS office and meet face to face with a person to plead your case for penalty abatement.
  • If you choose to submit IRS Form 843, it is also smart to submit a written petition as well with as much support as you can gather.

If you mailed in your documents to request penalty abatement, the IRS should get back within 60 days. If the IRS has not, you will need to send another copy of your request letter with supporting documents. If you have been denied for penalty abatement, you will not be able to apply again using the same reason as you did when it was rejected.