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Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience:  25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
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How to write a letter requesting abatement of tax penalties?

Customer Question

How to write a letter requesting abatement of tax penalties and interest?

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Merlo replied 6 years ago.

The IRS will never waive the interest that is due on a past due tax debt, but they will sometimes waive the penalties or a portion of the penalties, if you can show reasonable cause as to why the taxes were not paid on time.

You would need to write a letter to the IRS Service Center where you file your returns to the attention of the Penalty Abatement Coordinator. Here is a sample of what the letter should include:

Sample Request Letter
To: Penalty Abatement Coordinator
IRS Service Center
P.O. Box 123
Cincinnati, OH. 98765

(Make sure you use the actual address for the service center where you file your return)

Re: Request for Penalty Abatement

From: Jane Doe

Main Town, WY. 98766

July 4, 2010

To Whom It May Concern:

I am requesting an abatement of penalties totaling $2,345.20 as asserted in the IRS Notice dated 6/2/XX, of which I have enclosed.

The reason I paid late, filed late, did not report income (choose your reason) was that __________(fill in your reason, such as:)

My husband passed away
I was hospitalized
My tax records were lost in the hurricane
Whatever your good reason is....

Enclosed is a (describe your supporting documentation, such as):

Death certificate confirming my husband's death
Doctor's explanation for my hospitalization
Picture of house torn apart from hurricane

I have also enclosed payment that covers the amount of the underlying taxes I owe. (It is a good idea to send at least something as a good faith deposit).

Please abate these penalties for "reasonable cause." If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me at (Your Number) from 8 am to 5 pm.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.


Manual signature

Jane Doe

Enclosed: IRS Tax Notice, death certificate, doctor's letter, photograph.

Thank you

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