In order to encourage taxpayers to file their income tax returns and pay their taxes on time, the tax code provides for penalties. A tax penalty is usually assessed for failure to file tax returns on time or altogether. Similarly, a tax penalty is imposed for failure to timely pay taxes. The IRS also penalizes taxpayers for inaccurately reporting their income and for committing tax fraud. The amount of penalty depends on the reason for, and the amount of, tax underpayment. Penalties for tax fraud are usually the highest. In addition, similar to interest on late taxes, penalties accrue the longer the taxes go unpaid. In some cases, the amount of the combined penalties exceeds the tax itself.
In order to reduce or eliminate tax penalties the IRS or a state taxing authority should be convinced that the assessment of the tax or of the penalty was unfounded. The taxpayer must present the government with specific reasons as to why a particular tax or penalty should be decreased or abated altogether. The best results are achieved when the taxpayer points to a specific provision in the tax code or to similar facts in case law where a court found that assessed taxes or penalties should be reduced or eliminated.
If you have recently received a tax bill including penalties and interest, contact our IRS tax relief attorneys. We have been successful in reducing or eliminating hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes, penalties and interest.