Reasonable Causes for FTA
  • November 8, 2019
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So, the year came and went and filing and paying your taxes didn’t even cross your mind! Unfortunately, while you can easily forget about your taxing duties, the IRS won’t. Now, you’ve found yourself served with a penalty, thinking there’s no way out. Or is there?

Unlike what many people think, the IRS isn’t an arbitrary tyrant, deaf to all reason. In fact, they’re quite open to hearing out your case and reconsidering their original penalty ruling.
Can you get a penalty waiver and be on the clear once again? It depends. If you have a “reasonable cause” for failing your taxing duties, you can be eligible for the “first-time penalty abatement (FTA), also called simply IRS penalty abatement.

What is a “reasonable cause” for penalty abatement?

The most common causes for IRS tax penalties are also eligible for tax penalty and interest abatement. Such cases include not filing your taxes or being unable to pay them by the set due date.

But, simply wanting these tax penalties to disappear isn’t enough. You have to show the IRS that you had a legit reason, or in legal terms reasonable cause, for not complying with your taxing duties.

Related Blog: IRS More Willing to Compromise Than Ever

Here are a few reasonable causes for FTA:

Natural Disaster

Where your records and other important documents destroyed or lost during a fire, flood or another natural disaster? This is a good enough reason for the IRS to waive your penalties.

Social Unrest

Couldn’t leave your home or job because streets were blocked off by a riot, manifestation or crime scene? The IRS considers these cases serious disturbances that can prevent you from complying with your tax obligations.

Physical Confinement

The IRS can’t blame you if being absent from your taxing duties was unavoidable. After all, how can you pay taxes if you are in a coma in the hospital or held hostage abroad? The IRS isn’t an evil monster and will be understanding of these extreme case scenarios.

Death of a Family Member

This one is self-explanatory. It’s impossible to go out and pay your taxes if you are dead. Another huge factor the IRS takes into account is having an immediate family member that took care of financials pass away.

Related Blog: 6 Must-Know Facts about Penalties on Late Filing and Late Payments

If you have a valid reason for not paying or filing your taxes, then you are eligible for an IRS penalty abatement. But, before it is granted to you, you have to prove your case. This involves providing all additional information necessary to evaluate your case.

You should provide any document that can work as evidence and clear up all surrounding circumstances. The IRS will also consider your history and whether this is a first time or repeat offense.

At the end of the day, a tax law expert will be your best resource in determining whether your situation is fit for penalty abatement.

The Last Word

Need help processing your IRs penalty and interest abatement? Nick Nemeth’s Law offices can help! Our attorneys help hundreds of clients with their taxing problems every week. With our expertise, you can get the solution you need. Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Fill out our contact form or simply call (972) 426-2553.

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Brent VahleBrent Vahle
19:13 02 May 24
I called to see if they could help reduce some penalties and fees. The person I spoke with told me it might be counterproductive for them to take my case since their feels would likely equal the amount of penalty/interest abatement. I decided to pass on moving forward but was so happy to hear a legal team, or any business for that matter, who has that much integrity. I feel most others would likely try to take my money anyway. I hope I never have to go through this again, but if I do, I will definitely use the Law Offices of Nick Nemeth!
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Carla AtwalCarla Atwal
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Miguel AlvaradoMiguel Alvarado
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Lucy FoyLucy Foy
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My first appointment I had with, Tax Attorney Nick Nemeth, gave me such a sense of relief. He listened and gave me his professional advice, Mr Nemeth took my case. I was well kept updated, by phone calls and letters. That really impressed me and gave me so much confidence in them. The case went on for a couple of months. The day I received the call from one of his team members Kyle, informing me that the case was resolved and that I owed absolutely nothing to the IRS, I was overwhelmed with joy. I would recommend this law firm to anyone that needs help, with any tax issue. Thank you, to the Law Firm of Attorney Nick Nemeth and his team.
Bradley RunyonBradley Runyon
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I received a tax bill in the mail from the IRS last year in 2023. The fees and penalties I owed were something I myself could not afford. I reached out to Nick Nemeth's firm and received the best experience you could imagine. The team was professional, educational, and fast. If you have a tax issue with the IRS using another firm other than Nick Nemeth's would be an error in judgment. I would recommend their services above others.
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R GR G
20:53 21 Dec 23
I had an incompetent tax preparer, who also ignored several notices from the IRS, which in the end resulted in a lien on my property. I did not know what to do and an attorney friend recommended that I contact the Nick Nemeth Law Offices. I met with Jamie Flores and Ivan Nalbantov in December 2021 for a free consultation, and right away was impressed by their thorough examination of my paperwork and extensive knowledge of IRS tax laws. I felt not pressured and appreciated their advice and in the end decided that I would pursue resolving the issue by myself. I paid the IRS Civil Penalty and, as recommended also submitted a letter to the IRS requesting a refund and explaining what happened. I am glad to report that my persistence finally paid off. My case took two years to resolve and I finally received a full abatement/refund check from the IRS in December 2023. I could not have done this without the straightforward recommendation of Jamie and Ivan; and I highly recommend the Nick Nemeth Law Offices to anyone needing help with the IRS.
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I have been very pleased with the solid counsel and guidance that Nick Nemeth has provided me regarding my tax issue. I found him to be honest and straightforward which I appreciated. I was impressed with his relevant experience and knowledge . He has definitely brought me peace of mind during a difficult and stressful time.
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I would like to thank Mr. Nick and his staff for the superb help that I received from them. My IRS problem was resolved quickly and efficiently. It took 2 visits to convince me that I was over my head. I thought that I could call the IRS, appeal my tax notices and settle on a payment plan on my own. After many phone calls to the IRS, waiting sometimes more than 4 hours with no resolution to speak of, it proved to be extremely difficult and stressful. Revisiting Mr. Nick was a huge wake up call. My account was reviewed, and a payment plan was established with the IRS within a week. I will be forever grateful to the staff who worked on my case and especially to Lorna who listened to me vent while going through this painful process.
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