Complex IRS Penalty Abatement Procedures for Failure-to-File, Failure-to-Pay, and Accuracy-Related Penalties

Mastering Procedural and Practical Ways to Obtain Penalty Abatement; Mitigating Harsh IRS Penalties

Note: CLE credit is not offered on this program

Recording of a 110-minute CPE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Thursday, May 14, 2020

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Course Materials

This course will provide tax professionals with a comprehensive and practical guide to navigating the procedural and efficient ways to obtain a penalty abatement. The panel will cover domestic and foreign information abatement requests and will offer useful tools for compiling and submitting the appeal correspondence and documentation.


The IRS assesses many types of penalties against taxpayers: late-filing penalties, late-payment penalties, estimated tax penalties, accuracy-related penalties, and the list goes on. Tax practitioners face these tax penalties on an almost daily basis, and this webinar will provide procedural and practical ways to obtain a penalty abatement.

The IRS employs strict standards for determining whether a taxpayer qualifies for a reduction in penalties for failure to file required tax returns. TIGTA issued a report indicating that IRS controls over penalties were deficient, leading to incorrect abatement in a large percentage of tested cases. As a result, the IRS increased scrutiny over penalty abatement requests.

The Service has several appeal tracks for denial of abatement requests. Understanding the required documentation, which depends on the type of appeal and the basis for the taxpayer's claim, is critical to navigating the appeals process. Abatement appeals require a significant amount of substantiation, which can often be challenging to obtain.

Listen as our experienced panel of advisers provides a thorough guide to navigating procedural and practical ways to obtain a penalty abatement.



  1. Failure-to-file and failure-to-pay penalties (Sec. 6651)
    1. Know how and when to attach a penalty non-assertion request to a late-filed return
    2. Establish an installment agreement
  2. Estimated tax penalty (Sec. 6655)
    1. Must learn different methods of calculating penalties
    2. Effectively use the safe harbor rules
  3. Accuracy-related penalty (Sec. 6662)
    1. Determining specific tax authority standards (e.g., the "more likely than not" standard or "substantial authority" standard)
    2. Fully substantiating a client's reasonable cause defense
  4. Best use of the Independent Office of Appeals.
  5. Exploiting the IRS' failure to follow 6751(b). The Graev defense.
  6. Using CDP hearings to abate penalties
  7. Foreign informational return penalties (Forms 5471 and 5472)
    1. Avoiding automatic assessments through the Streamlined Process
    2. Reasonable cause standard for foreign information reporting forms
    3. Litigation overview


The panel will discuss these and other relevant topics:

  • Penalty abatement qualifying requirements
  • Penalty non-assertion request to a late-filed return
  • Establishing an installment agreement and adhering to its terms to avoid penalties
  • Using very subjective reasonable cause criteria
  • Utilizing the "Independent Office of Appeals"
  • Methods of calculating penalties
  • Qualifying for the first-time abatement program


Brager, Dennis N.
Dennis N. Brager, Esq.

Certified Tax Specialist
Brager Tax Law Group

Mr. Brager is a nationally known tax litigation attorney, representing clients in criminal and civil tax litigation and...  |  Read More

Hanson, Robert
Robert V. Hanson, Esq.

International Tax Attorney
Parent & Parent

Mr. Hanson’s practice focuses on individuals and organizations with offshore assets and international tax...  |  Read More

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