Support Your Claims When Requesting an IRS Penalty Abatement

At some point, the inevitable will happen and an event will occur that interferes with your general responsibilities and obligations. Sometimes this event results in paying taxes late, filing a late return, or inadvertently failing to report income. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will impose a penalty as a result of this error. Fortunately, however, taxpayers can request a penalty abatement if they can demonstrate that they have reasonable cause for the request.

Documents That Support Your Request for a Penalty Abatement

When submitting your request for penalty abatement to the IRS, you will need to include certain information in the letter. This information includes the reasons you filed late, paid late, or failed to report income. In addition, you must provide supporting documents that can support your claim as to why you were unable to fulfill your obligations. Examples of relevant supporting documents may include:

  1. An insurance notice that documents a theft that occurred of your private property and documents
  2. A death notice for a family member
  3. Pictures that document a fire
  4. A letter from a doctor that states the conditions of any illness that prevented you from filing your tax return or paying the taxes owed


Ensuring that you include the appropriate supporting documentation along with your request for an IRS tax abatement can go a long way towards succeeding in obtaining the requested relief. If you found this information helpful, we encourage you to find us on Twitter. We frequently tweet links to other helpful articles as well.

Travis Watkins
Senior Tax Attorney
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