Popular search terms:
Published:   |   Last Updated: December 5, 2023

Letter 1278

Penalty Appeal Abatement

View our interactive tax map to see where you are in the tax process. It could help you navigate your way through the IRS.

Show on Roadmap
Taxpayer Roadmap with folded image in front

Letter Overview

This letter is issued to notify a taxpayer that their penalty abatement request has been accepted and that their account will be adjusted as a result of the decision to abate the penalty If the IRS denies a taxpayer’s claim for credit or refund, or abatement of a penalty, the taxpayer can protest or challenge it by requesting a conference with the IRS Independent Office of Appeals (Appeals). Appeals issues Letter 1277 to inform a taxpayer that their request for penalty adjustment is either partially or fully denied. Letter 2682 is issued to inform a taxpayer that their claim for credit or refund of a tax, and/or abatement of a penalty, has been allowed in full.    

This notice or letter may include additional topics that have not yet been covered here. Please check back frequently for updates.

What does this mean to me?

You completed your protest and mailed it to the IRS address on the letter that explains your appeal rights.

How did I get here?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) received a claim for credit or refund, or abatement of a penalty, using your name, Social Security number (SSN), Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN).

What are my next steps?


Letter 1277, Penalty Appeal Decision

For Letter 1277, if you disagree with the decision from Appeals, you can further protest the matter by filing a suit as described in the letter. If you’d rather speak with someone, contact the person identified on the letter you received.


Letter 1278 or Letter 2682

For Letter 1278 or Letter 2682, you do not need to take any action, as the IRS will make the necessary adjustments to your account and send you a notice that explains the adjustments.


Customer Satisfaction Survey

Regardless which of the three letters you receive, at the conclusion of the Appeals process, an authorized vendor may contact you to perform an Appeals customer satisfaction survey. Your participation is voluntary, and the survey will not ask for personal or financial information of any kind.

I need more information

What is the status of my Appeal Request? If you have formally submitted a request for an appeal and need to check on the status of your request, we can tell you if your case has been assigned to an Appeals employee and how to contact that employee directly. They will be your best contact for all issues related to your case in Appeals. You can reach us at 559-233-1267 (not a toll-free call). Leave a message with your name, taxpayer ID number, a callback number, and the nature of your request. We'll research the status of the case and return your call within 48 hours. If we haven't received your case yet, you won't receive a call back from us. If you don't hear back from us or are unsure if your request for an appeal has been forwarded, please directly contact the person with whom you were last involved (examiner or collection officer). They will be better equipped to answer your questions with respect to your appeal request. For more information on submitting an appeal, please refer to Protests on page 3 of Publication 5 for more information on how to request an administrative appeal.

Where can I get additional help?

Online Resources

Understanding your notice or letter

Get Help Topics

Browse common tax issues and situations at TAS Get Help 

If you still need help

The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers and protects taxpayers’ rights. We can offer you help if your tax problem is causing a financial difficulty, you’ve tried and been unable to resolve your issue with the IRS, or you believe an IRS system, process, or procedure just isn’t working as it should. If you qualify for our assistance, which is always free, we will do everything possible to help you.

Visit www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov or call 1-877-777-4778.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) are independent from the IRS and TAS. LITCs represent individuals whose income is below a certain level and who need to resolve tax problems with the IRS. LITCs can represent taxpayers in audits, appeals, and tax collection disputes before the IRS and in court. In addition, LITCs can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. Services are offered for free or a small fee. For more information or to find an LITC near you, see the LITC page on the TAS website or Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List.

Related Notices

  • Letter 1363, Appeals Partial Disallowance of Refund Claim – Certified Letter;
  • Letter 1364, Appeals Full Disallowance of Refund Claim – Certified Letter;
  • Letter 2681, Appeals Full Disallowance After Previous Claim Disallowance; and
  • Letter 2683 Appeals Partial Disallowance After Previous Claim Disallowance.

Did you know there is a Taxpayer Bill of Rights?

The taxpayer Bill of Rights is grouped into 10 easy to understand categories outlining the taxpayer rights and protections embedded in the tax code.

It is also what guides the advocacy work we do for taxpayers.

Read more about your rights

Where am I in the tax system?

Penalty Appeal Abatement, Letter 1278