IRS Penalty Abatement Demystified: A Step-by-Step Approach


Understanding tax codes and IRS rules can be complex for many taxpayers. One particular challenge is in the area of IRS penalty abatement. Facing an IRS penalty can indeed be overwhelming. However, there are ways to reduce or even waive these penalties, and with the right guidance, you can easily handle this process.
At Hopkins CPA Firm, we’re here to simplify your tax-related concerns. Whether you’re a business seeking tax preparation assistance or an individual requiring FBAR services, we aim to make the process as straightforward as possible. The article below offers a step-by-step guide on IRS penalty abatement.

What is IRS Penalty Abatement?

Simply put, IRS penalty abatement is the process of reducing or removing penalties imposed by the IRS for not meeting tax obligations. The penalties could range from failure-to-file and failure-to-pay, to more complex issues requiring specialized FBAR services.

Step 1: Understand Why You Received a Penalty

Before addressing a penalty, you need to know why you received it in the first place. Understanding the reason for the penalty will help you form an effective strategy for abatement.

Step 2: Determine Eligibility for Abatement

Not all penalties are eligible for abatement. Generally, you’ll need to demonstrate “reasonable cause” for failing to meet your tax obligations. Reasonable causes may include natural disasters, serious illness, or other unforeseen circumstances.

Step 3: Gather Documentation

Once you’ve identified the reason, the next step is gathering all relevant documentation. This could be medical records, financial statements, or other supporting evidence. A professional tax preparation service can assist you if you need help deciding what to gather.

Step 4: File the Proper Forms

Form 843, “Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement,” which is generally the right form to request penalty abatement. However, other forms may apply depending on the specifics of your situation.

Step 5: Consult with a Professional

IRS penalty abatement can be complex, and it’s advisable to consult with a tax professional experienced in this area. If your situation also involves Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), specialized FBAR services may be required.

Step 6: Submit Your Request and Wait for a Response

After submitting your abatement request and all necessary documentation, you’ll need to wait for the IRS’s decision. This can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

Step 7: Review the Decision and Take Next Steps

If the IRS approves your request, you’ll receive a notice detailing the reduction or elimination of your penalties. If your request is denied, you can still appeal the decision.


IRS penalty abatement may seem overwhelming, but you can navigate the process more confidently by breaking it down into manageable steps and consulting with professionals. At Hopkins CPA Firm, we have extensive experience in tax resolution, including penalty abatement, and offer a comprehensive range of services from tax preparation to FBAR services.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need assistance with IRS penalty abatement or any other tax-related issues. With years of experience and a dedication to our clients, we’re here to help you resolve your tax issues as smoothly as possible.

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Joe Hopkins

Joe has 25+ years as a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the State of Texas and solving IRS problems. Current member with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Texas Society of CPA’s (TSCPA), National Society of Accountants (NSA), Bachelor’s degree in accounting (BBA), Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) at Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Experience in a variety of industries as Controller, CFO and tax resolution issues for both business and personal tax cases.