Have a Tax Question? Ask a Tax Expert
What are the penalties that are being assessed?
The first time penalty abatement (FTA) is the easiest way to get penalties waived. He may qualify if he has filed his 2014 return or if its still on extension and he does not have any prior year returns that are not filed. In addition, he would also need to have paid, or arranged to pay through an installment agreement or other method, all prior year taxes. You can learn about FTA here http://goo.gl/vlnFAh and here: http://goo.gl/3TTl1i.
Do you know if he owes any other prior back taxes, has any outstanding unfiled returns, or had any other serious problem with the IRS in the past three years?
You can visit the IRS site at http://goo.gl/X5F1BL to get the Form 9465 and Form 933-F. If you owes less than $50,000 he can apply online on the IRS site. Once you have an installment plan set up, you can then ask for the FTA. One other question, why was he late in filing his tax returns? Penalties can be waived for reasonable cause though getting that type of waiver is hard to get. Examples of reasonable cause would be if someone was institutionalized when the return was due, their records were destroyed by fire other natural disaster, or that they relied on a tax preparer to ensure that their tax obligations were met.
Here is a sample abatement request letter: https://goo.gl/DgMldK. You can request the the penalty under reasonable cause right way, and when he has an installment agreement set up, request the FTA waiver if the reasonable cause waiver is unsuccessful.
As an additional service, I could write the letter for you if you wish. I would want to talk to you on the phone beforehand to get a solid understanding of what went wrong. I could provide you with just a Microsoft Word file that you can fill in his Social Security number and other personal information, or you could provide this that information and a copy of his notices and I will put that in.