IRS Late Filing Penalty

Many of us are busy with day to day work and most of us have lost their jobs due to recession. Did we really get time to file our taxes on time thats before the 15th April. According to estimates, 10% or more people might not have filed their taxes on time.

Abatement of IRS penalties can occur, but only if the taxpayer can show reasonable cause. Reasonable cause for late filing includes: (1) the death or serious illness of the taxpayer or an immediate family member of the taxpayer; (2) the unavoidable absence of the taxpayer on the filing date; or (3) the destruction of the taxpayer’s business or personal residence.

How much is the failure to file penalty?

The penalty is 5% of the tax balance due per month up to a maximum of 25%.  A new month starts on the 15th of each month so if you file on May 18th then you will pay 2 months penalty or 10%.  This is the biggest penalty by far so it’s important to file your tax return as soon as you can even if you don’t have a penny to pay the money owed.  If you don’t owe any money then there is no penalty.

When arguing for a penalty waiver or reduction based on reasonable cause, each case is considered on its own merits. But here are some examples of successful, and not-so-successful, attempts at penalty abatement.

What if I Forgot to File an Extension?

Well, that all depends on if you owe money or if you’re getting money back. If you happen to be expecting a refund, you will not be hit with a penalty for filing your income tax return late. It doesn’t matter if you filed for an extension or not. Remember, the penalty for filing a late tax return is a percentage of what is owed to the IRS. If you don’t owe anything then, even 100% of nothing is nothing. Of course it’s always better to file on time for a lot of reasons.

Excuses that might work

* Natural disasters, like fires, hurricanes, floods, tornados – a non-preventable event that somehow results in an inability to process tax documents.

* An individual responsible for a function necessary to the completion of the tax return is unexpectedly unavailable.

* Tax professional in full possession of the facts gave wrong advice to the taxpayer, who had no reason to have knowledge to the contrary.

Why use tax professionals for your IRS penalty abatement?

Convincing the IRS to abate penalties and interest is not as easy as you may hope. The IRS does not part with back tax liabilities easily and any request for IRS tax penalty or interest abatement is carefully scrutinized. You don’t have to fight the IRS alone while struggling to figure out how to reduce or eliminate your penalties and interest. Professional IRS tax representation will maximize your chances of getting your tax penalty abatement approved. IRS tax specialists have the knowledge and industry experience to help you achieve this vital financial goal. Our affiliated tax advisors know how to reduce or eliminate IRS tax penalties and interest. They are experts in drafting the IRS letter of abatement, filing Form 843, and will vigorously fight for your rights as a taxpayer!

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