People often assume federal agencies like the IRS are ruthless and impossible to deal with when and if an issue arises. However, while it can undoubtedly be frustrating to figure out problems with the IRS, it is not impossible, particularly if you know your rights and legal options.
For instance, did you know that you might be able to avoid or seek relief from certain penalties? Under a handful of specific circumstances, the IRS can grant penalty relief.
As noted on the IRS.gov website, the three types of penalty relief include:
- Reasonable cause claims. These claims must be supported by evidence showing you took all reasonable actions to submit and/or pay taxes, but a violation still occurred. For instance, if you suffered through a natural disaster or if you were unable to collect the necessary tax documents to file your return, these could qualify you for penalty relief.
- First Time Penalty Abatement. This relief can be available to people who haven’t had to file taxes for at least three years before filing a return or extension. You will also have had to pay or be willing to pay taxes owed.
- Statutory exceptions. You can avoid penalties if you were given inaccurate information (in writing) by the IRS regarding your taxes.
In these situations, you can be relieved from any penalties that have been issued, though interest may continue to be charged.
In order to seek penalty relief in any of these scenarios, you will need to provide the appropriate documentation and other evidence to support your claim.
You don’t have to be excited to deal with the IRS, particularly when it comes to potential tax violations and penalties, but you should know that it doesn’t have to be the miserable experience you may be expecting. With the help and guidance of an attorney as well as an understanding of your legal rights and options, you can work to secure a satisfactory resolution to your tax problems.