Every year, the IRS charges tax debtors a boat load of penalties.

到底有多少? If you’re in Greater Memphis and you owe taxes, you should definitely take a look…

To put this in perspective, the IRS budget for 2021 is about $12 billion. That means the entirety of IRS operations could be funded this year with just the money they charge individuals or small businesses in penalties. This includes people in Greater Memphis who find themselves owing the IRS.

当你受到这些惩罚的时候, it can feel like the IRS is just pouring salt into the wound. When you can’t pay your taxes, the last thing you want to see is…more taxes. Fortunately, the IRS does provide several options for penalty relief.


如果你或你在大孟菲斯认识的人有资格, the IRS has a fairly simple administrative procedure for penalty relief:




In order to receive penalty relief under this program, you can’t have any unfiled returns. 换句话说,您需要有一个干净的归档历史记录. 如果你最近几年没有申报纳税, you’ll need to get caught up on those filings in order to be eligible for penalty relief. 索取你的报税表, filing an extension request is perfectly fine and counts toward eligibility for this program. Also, if the IRS has been kind enough to file a tax return for you, this doesn’t count. So, you’ll need to file an actual tax return to replace the one the IRS prepared (which is fine because those are almost always wrong anyway and definitely not in your favor).

On top of that, you need to take the necessary steps to deal with the unpaid tax debt. For you or Greater Memphis filers in the same situation as you to be eligible for penalty relief, you either need to pay off the tax liability or enter into a payment plan. If you’re in a tough spot and can’t afford to make monthly payments on the tax debt, 国税局会让你处于特殊的不可收藏状态. The drawback of this is that it makes you ineligible for the removal of penalties.

This administrative waiver of penalties is something you or Greater Memphis taxpayers like you can get every few years. The IRS insists that you have a clean record with them for at least the three years prior to the year that you are requesting penalty relief for. 例如, if you filed your tax return late and got penalized for it, the IRS will only waive those penalties if you were penalty-free in the previous three years. So, 而这个计划被称为“第一次”缓和, 它真正的意思是“三年后的第一次!.”

因为这个三年法则, 你欠了好几年的税, 因此有好几年的连续处罚, you’re only allowed penalty relief for the first year in the sequence. 例如, 如果你欠了2016年到2019年的税款,并且申报晚了, at best you’re only going to be eligible for penalty reduction on that 2016 tax debt.


第一次缓和程序是一个非常结构化的规则. 你要么有资格,要么没有资格. 然而, the IRS understands that things aren’t always that straightforward for people all across the country including those in Greater Memphis.

If you have a reasonable excuse for why you didn’t file a tax return or pay your taxes on time, 国税局会考虑的. Something for you or anyone you know in Greater Memphis that owes taxes to keep in mind. 仍然, they have specific rules for how they evaluate those kinds of requests, 决定是根据具体情况做出的.

What the IRS is looking for in order to give penalty relief in these situations is proof that you make reasonable efforts to comply with the tax laws, but just weren’t able to because of circumstances beyond your control. 例如, it’s really hard to file your own tax return if you’re dead. 听起来很荒谬,对吧? 但我看到的一些东西会让你大吃一惊!

Consider these questions to figure out if circumstances were “beyond your control”:

  • 你或你的家人病得很重吗?
  • 你经历过所爱之人的死亡吗?
  • Was there a natural disaster that affected your local area?
  • 你经历过身份盗窃吗?
  • Were there drug, alcohol, gambling, or other addiction issues?

If you or somebody in your immediate family (or anyone you know in Greater Memphis) experienced any of these types of issues, then you might be able to make a case for reasonable cause penalty abatement. 如果这些都是你的情况, you and I will need to have a potentially difficult-for-you conversation, so I can try to connect the dots between your circumstance and your failure to file or pay taxes.


Very few people ever qualify for this one, so I’m hesitant to even mention it. This is the proverbial “pennies on the dollar” settlement you may have heard rumors about. It does, in fact, exist, but there are very strict eligibility criteria for it. 例如, in 2019 the IRS accepted less than 18,000 of these reduced settlements…nationwide.

仍然, 这里是我提到它的原因:如果你有资格, all of the penalties and interest the IRS has charged you magically disappear. 没错,所有人.
不需要解释. 没有借口.

If you are in such dire straits financially that you qualify for this program, 然后你所有的税收债务就被简单地抹去了, 处罚和所有. That’s some potentially exciting news on the penalty relief front for Greater Memphis taxpayers who find themselves on the wrong side of the IRS.
仍然, 所有这些规则和特殊要求, 这显然不是你应该自己解决的问题. If you owe back taxes to the IRS, you undoubtedly have penalties, too.



Jonathan D. Nyaku