IRS Hitting You With A Fine Or Late Fee? Don’t Fret – A Consumer Tax Advocate Says You Still Have Options

It’s also available to taxpayers who live in areas affected by specific disasters for whom the tax deadline has been extended.

If you currently meet the first two requirements, you can still make arrangements to pay the tax you owe and then request the abatement.

In 2019, only 12% of the penalties for failure to file and failure to pay were abated.

The most common reason for the low number of abatements appears to be that many taxpayers who would otherwise qualify for relief aren’t aware this program even exists. Requesting relief is as simple as phoning the IRS and requesting it, or you may ask for it in writing.

Other resources available

In addition to penalty prevention and penalty relief, other resources are available to taxpayers who need help after Tax Day.

The taxpayer advocate service is an independent organization within the IRS, and its local taxpayer advocates provide free help to any taxpayer to provide guidance through the process of resolving tax problems. There’s at least one in every state.

The IRS also supports Low-Income Tax Clinics, which are staffed with attorneys and other professionals to help low-income filers with tax disputes that may require legal intervention. While it can be difficult to reverse penalties or challenge other IRS decisions, taxpayers with legal help stand a much better chance of succeeding with their claims.

An ounce of penalty prevention

Many people may be familiar with Benjamin Franklin’s assertion that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

No one enjoys paying taxes, but additional penalties can make a bad situation even worse. The good news is most penalties can be avoided by filing taxes on time and paying any taxes due. If you are unable to pay all of the taxes due right away, you can always establish a payment plan.

So next year, remember there are many resources available to you to make it easier to file on time – free, in most cases – and to avoid penalties. And taxpayer advocates are available to answer any tricky questions.The Conversation

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Disclosure: This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

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