IRS penalty relief brings big business opportunities for astute tax practitioners as the IRS does indeed have the authority to provide relief from various penalties if you know how to do the dance.
In 2014 the IRS abated either in part or in full approximately 12.3% of the 40.3 million penalties issued reducing penalty assessments paid by US Taxpayers up to $9.8 billion.
According to the IRM, relief from penalties can fall into one of four separate categories.
- Reasonable cause.
- Statutory exceptions.
- Administrative waivers.
- Correction of IRS error.
This post drills down into Reasonable Cause. The IRS bases reasonable cause on all the facts and circumstances of each individual case file and it allows for relief of penalties as per IRM 220.127.116.11.2.
The IRS grants reasonable cause relief when you exercised ordinary business care and prudence in determining your tax obligations but nevertheless were unable to to timely comply with those obligations.
IRS Policy Statement 3-2 provides a very limited list of ’causes’ which can be ‘reasonable’ for late filing of a return or failure to deposit or pay tax when due (IRM 18.104.22.168.2).
Examples of sound causes for delay which can be accepted as reasonable cause include: