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Published:   |   Last Updated: February 8, 2024

TAS Advocates for Penalty Abatement

Every year, the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) helps thousands of people with tax problems. This story is only one of many examples of how TAS helps resolve taxpayer’s tax issues. All personal details are removed to protect the taxpayer’s privacy.

TAS Success Stories


A taxpayer came to TAS for assistance because the IRS assessed a penalty for not reporting income accurately. The taxpayer relied on a tax professional while the taxpayer was on active military status, who incorrectly advised the taxpayer to not include wages earned while the taxpayer was out of the country.

The taxpayer was audited and agreed to including the additional income and paid the additional tax and penalty. However, the taxpayer wanted to dispute the penalty because he relied on a tax professional. The taxpayer submitted full payment, including the penalty, and filed a claim to reverse the penalty.

The IRS incorrectly interpreted the claim for penalty reversal as a claim to reverse the additional tax assessment and delayed processing of the penalty claim by more than 30 days. TAS contacted the IRS and requested they process the penalty abatement claim and provided support to show reasonable cause that the taxpayer tried to file correctly and had relied on incorrect advice of a tax professional. The IRS agreed and removed the penalty.

If you need information on a specific tax topic, visit the TAS Get Help resource. It offers a step-by step guide on what you can do to settle some IRS issues on your own, what your taxpayer rights are and other options available to help you get resolution. Most issues can be resolved directly by working with the IRS. However, if you have tried, but are still unable to resolve an IRS issue, learn more about whether TAS can help you: TAS eligibility.

When working with the Taxpayer Advocate Service, each individual or business taxpayer is assigned to an advocate who listens to the problem and helps the taxpayer understand what needs to be done to resolve their tax issue. TAS advocates will do everything they can to help taxpayers and work with them every step of the way. Occasionally we feature stories of taxpayers and advocates who work together to resolve complex tax issues. Read more TAS success stories.