There are numerous circumstances where the IRS could issue civil penalties against a taxpayer. From the failure to pay taxes to noncompliance with FBAR rules, each of these penalties could end up costing a lot of money.

Fortunately, for many taxpayers facing these penalties, there are steps to take that could reduce or eliminate the penalties entirely. A dedicated tax lawyer could help you determine if you are eligible for this relief and formulate a plan to get it. Let a Vienna IRS penalty abatement lawyer review your case and advise you on your options.

Common Types of Penalties

Although there are hundreds of potential penalties that the IRS could implement on a taxpayer, only a handful of these options are used with regularity. Most IRS penalties are based on a taxpayer’s failure to pay taxes, the absence of a tax return filing, or errors with tax estimates. A penalty abatement lawyer in Vienna could provide further analysis of an individual’s or business’s tax profile to determine where they might be at risk of penalties.

Failure to Pay

More than half of all IRS penalties are related to the failure to pay taxes. These penalties can occur whether a taxpayer simply submits their payment late or does not pay their tax bill at all. The penalty for failing to pay is 0.5% of the balance due each month. This penalty maxes out at 25% of the total balance.

Estimated Tax Penalties

The second most common tax penalty involves errors regarding the estimated tax payment. When a taxpayer lacks sufficient withholdings, the government could assess penalties based on the interest that was lost during the tax year.

Failure to File

Another common penalty stems from a taxpayer’s failure to file their tax return on time. The penalty for failure to file is 5% of the balance due each month, up to a maximum of 25%.

How an Attorney Could Help Taxpayers Address IRS Penalties

The options available to a taxpayer will largely depend on the type of penalty that they face. The IRS allows for penalty abatement in some cases. While abatement is never guaranteed, numerous penalties can be reduced or eliminated each year with the help of an IRS penalty abatement attorney in Vienna.

First-Time Penalty Abatement Program

In many cases, the best way to address an IRS penalty is by seeking abatement. The first-time penalty abatement program offers taxpayers an opportunity to have some penalties reduced or removed completely. To qualify, they must have:

  • Filed returns for the past three years without any penalties
  • Filed their current return or requested an extension
  • Paid all due taxes or arranged to make those payments

Many taxpayers do not require legal assistance to apply for first-time abatement. If there is a persistent issue, or if the taxpayer has other tax controversies to address, a lawyer could then offer advice when it comes to reducing or eliminating penalties.

Other Avenues for Addressing Penalties

Abatement is generally available in cases where a penalty was automatically assessed after a late filing or payment, but there are instances where a lawyer could utilize other methods outside of abatement. This is most common in cases that stem from IRS investigations or audits. In these situations, appeals are generally required. It is important to remember that audits are rare and many penalties can usually be resolved through abatement based upon reasonable cause. If a penalty is abated, any interest that has accrued on that penalty is also eliminated.

Talk to a Vienna IRS Penalty Abatement Attorney Today

When the IRS assesses a penalty against you, there are legal options that could help you reduce or eliminate that financial burden. In many cases, penalty abatement could help you resolve your IRS dispute. If you are routinely having to deal with penalties or have other tax disputes that might involve penalties, you could benefit from the guidance of legal counsel. Contact a Vienna IRS penalty abatement lawyer today.

Attorney John Pontius

Pontius Tax Law, PLLC is a tax law firm that strives to resolve sensitive tax problems through trust, dedication and value. The law firm was founded by John Pontius with offices in Washington, DC,  Rockville, MD, Bethesda, MD, Fairfax, VA, and Alexandria, VA. Mr. Pontius represents individual and business clients with sensitive and serious tax matters before the Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities. His client base is local, national, and international.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Pontius has represented businesses and individuals with complex tax issues in the following areas: FBAR examinations, offshore and domestic disclosures, FATCA, FIRPTA, tax planning, unfiled tax returns, release of tax liens and levies, trust fund recovery penalty, IRS and state audit examinations, as well as appeals, penalty abatement, U.S. Tax Court litigation, along with defense of tax fraud and evasion. If you require assistance from a tax lawyer, contact Mr. Pontius to discuss your situation.

Client Reviews
John helped us with a DC tax audit and succeeded in getting us a "no change" final decision. The issues were related to two flow-through entities and the use of carry-forward operating losses -- something that the DC auditors struggled to understand and with which they did not have any...
Paul A
Mr. Pontius is extremely professional and was able to take care of my tax returns which includes international bank accounts quickly and at a very reasonable price. Would definitely recommend.
I received a fee this past November from the IRS for over $800 because of an error I made on my 2016 taxes. I called my cousin, John Pontius, and he immediately knew what steps needed to be taken. Thanks to him, the fee was cleared. A 10 minute conversation...
As an American citizen living in the Middle East my local banker informed me that I needed to file FBARs and report my worldwide income to the IRS. Through the recommendation of another attorney at an international law firm, I was introduced to John Pontius. Mr. Pontius efficiently and effectively...
Kareem S
John handled a difficult IRS lien for my client. He was excellent in getting the lien released so we could close on the property. I would highly recommend John .
Bobbie M
We were seeking tax advice with managing two properties, LLC, as well as some future financial planning. John responded to my call in a timely manner and was happy to answer our questions while referring us to specialists who can manage our accounts on a more regular basis.
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