Special Report:

10 Secrets to Getting IRS Penalties Removed 

The IRS has over 148 different penalty types they can hit you with. And the worst part is that the IRS can also charge interest and additional penalties on the original penalty. Penalties can be such a high percentage of the overall tax debt that it generally makes sense to consider requesting the IRS remove or reduce penalties in certain situations.


IRS penalties can often be reduced to ZERO in two ways; You can request penalty relief under the IRS’s “fresh start initiative”; and/or you can also request relief from penalties due to “Reasonable Cause”. What is “reasonable cause” you ask? The major ones include economic hardship, death, or serious illness of a love one, unable to obtain records, and bad advice from a tax preparer, to name a few.



Per the Tax Code, a taxpayer can request the removal (abatement) of IRS penalties under two provisions:

1. First Time Abatement (FTA)

2. Reasonable Cause Argument



• Generally applies to personal income (Form 1040) back taxes.

• One-time consideration is available only for taxpayers with a “clean” compliance history.

• Requested on one period only.

• You must be in what the IRS calls “current compliance”.




In general, there are 9 main “Reasonable Cause” arguments to get penalties removed:

1. Death, Serious Illness, Unavoidable Absence

2. Fire, Casualty, Natural Disaster

3. Unable to Obtain Records

4. Mistakes was made

5. Erroneous Advice or Reliance

6. Written/Oral Advice from the IRS

7. Ignorance of Tax Laws

8. Reasonable Cause/Ordinary Business Care and Prudence

9. Undue Economic Hardship


The request for a penalty abatement under the Reasonable Cause provision must be in writing, the timing of the event must correlate to the tax years involved, and you must include supporting documentation to substantiate your claims. Furthermore, the entire abatement request package must be prepared in such a way to meet IRS policy and procedure criteria to prevent it from being outright rejected and returned.


1. Death or Serious Illness, or Unavoidable Absence Considerations:

• Immediate Family only.

• Issue must be addressed in a reasonable time after death/illness.

• Other obligations were impaired or just taxes?

• Written proof of illness/death.

• Ex: terminal illness, surgery, substance/physical abuse, depression, disability, emotional/psychological distress.


2. Fire, Casualty, Natural Disaster Considerations:

• What steps were taken to comply?

• Did you comply as soon as it was possible?

• Ex: Major disasters include hurricane, tornado, earthquake, flood, riot or other “emergency” events.


3. Unable to Obtain Records Considerations:

• Why the records were unavailable.

• Why the records were needed to comply.

• When and how did you become aware that you did not have the necessary records?

• What other means were explored to secure the information?

• Why didn’t you estimate the information?

•  Once the missing info was obtained did you comply?


4. Mistake Was Made Considerations:

• When and how did you become aware of the mistake?

• The extent to which you attempted to correct the mistake.

• The relationship between you and the person you relied on (if you delegated the duty)

• Did you take timely steps to correct the mistake after it was discovered? 


5. Erroneous Advice or Reliance Considerations:

• Relates to tax issues considered too technical or complicated for a layperson.

• You, the taxpayer, are always responsible for reporting all income to person (CPA, Enrolled Agent) preparing taxes.

• Failure to comply was due to a change in the tax law a taxpayer could not reasonably be expected to know.

• Were you unable to comply because you did not have access to your own records?

6.Written/Oral Advice from IRS Considerations:

• Was it reasonable to rely on that advice?

• Was there a clear relationship between your situation, the advice provided and the penalty assessed?

• What was your prior tax compliance record and history?

• What type of supporting documentation is available?

• If Oral advice – Very difficult to prove, but depends on circumstances…

• Notation of the taxpayer’s question to IRS,

• Documentation regarding the advice provided by IRS,

• Information regarding the office and method by which the advice was obtained,

•The date the advice was provided, and

•The name and badge (ID) number of the employee who provided the information.


7. Ignorance of Tax Laws Considerations:

• Must prove that a reasonable and good faith effort was made to comply with the law and that you could not be reasonably expected to know the requirement.

• Factors the IRS considers: your education, if you were previously subject to the tax, if you have been penalized before for the same thing, if there were recent changes to forms or the law. Level of complexity of the tax, etc.. 


8. Reasonable Cause/Ordinary Business Care and Prudence (“Catch all”) Considerations:

• Did you “exercise ordinary business care and prudence” but were still unable to comply with the law?

• Events and explanations must correspond with the date of the penalty.

• During this time in your life, affairs were handled (taxes were the only thing you put off?).

• When circumstances changed, what attempt did you make to be compliant? (too much time between the event and compliance weakens the argument).

• Compliance History: Are there problems in preceding years as well? (may show lack of “business care and prudence”).

• Must have proper supporting documentation.


9. Undue Financial Hardship Considerations:

• You must show substantial financial loss if required to pay a tax on the due date.

• Financial records required; bank statements, bills, payments, assets, liabilities, and more.

• Did you make “discretionary expenditures” prior to paying the tax on due date. Ex. Kids tuition, vacations, cars, new houses, unnecessary re-modeling, charity, IRA/401K contributions, etc.

• Bankruptcy – The IRS may consider inability to pay a factor if the insolvency occurred before the due date of the tax payment.

• When did you realize that you could not pay?

• Why were you unable to pay?

• Did you explore other means to secure/raise funds?

• What did you supply in the way of supporting documentation, such as bank statements when trying to borrow funds?

• Did you pay when the funds DID become available?


Tax Relief Help


Landmark Tax Group specializes in saving taxpayers money and representing them in front of the IRS. We offer transparency to our clients, helping them understand the process of resolving tax debts so they have realistic expectations for solving their specific tax problems. Our role is to negotiate the lowest possible IRS payment amount allowed by Law and to explore tax settlement and penalty removal options. We are former Senior IRS Agents who now serve the best interests of our clients – all we do is handle IRS Tax Relief matters, all day, every day. We can help you.


As your tax representative, we will conduct an in-depth review and analysis of your IRS tax transcripts to identify which penalties and interest have been assessed against you. As applicable, we will then prepare an abatement package (that meets IRS criteria) to seek a full or partial abatement of penalties and related interest with the IRS, resulting in an overall lower balance due. Should the IRS deny our request
to remove the penalties and related interest, we will immediately prepare and submit a formal appeal and represent you in front of the Appeals Division.



You Need to Take the First Step!


It’s up to you! You have nothing to lose, set up a Consultation. Call
and schedule an appointment so we can go over all the ways we can help you. We also review IRS notices and letters absolutely FREE. And all matters discussed are strictly confidential.

Contact us today to schedule a No-Obligation Consultation
Tel. 1-949-260-4770 | Help@LandmarkTaxGroup.com

We look forward to serving you and helping to put your tax matter behind you.





This Special Report created and distributed by Landmark Tax Group™, a professional IRS Problem tax resolution firm serving individual and business taxpayers nationwide. For more information on how to protect yourself from the IRS, call 1-949-260-4770 for a FREE consultation or visit www.LandmarkTaxGroup.com © Copyright 2020 Landmark Tax Group™