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The IRS First-Time Abate program provides certain penalty relief to taxpayers who have been tax compliant for the previous three years or have not previously been required to file a return. 

If you have a clean compliance history for the last three years, you may be eligible for first-time relief from the following penalties:

  • Failure to file
  • Failure to pay
  • Failure to deposit

Abatement must be requested in a signed, written statement mailed to the service center where you would be required to file a current year tax return. If the request is in response to an IRS notice, the statement should be sent to the address shown on the notice.

This type of penalty waiver is a one-time consideration available only for a first-time penalty charge. The FTA analysis is based on your compliance history and does not consider any additional explanation you provide. However, if your request fails the IRS First-Time Abate/Clean Compliance History analysis, your eligibility for relief will be based on the reasonable cause explanation you provide. Your written statement should therefore include a detailed explanation of any reasonable cause you have for failing to pay or file, if applicable.

If your FTA request is granted, you will receive IRS Letter 3502C or IRS Letter 3503C.

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