Do you qualify for a First Time Abatement?

What Can the First Time Abatement Do for Me?

Are you wondering if you can get those nasty IRS penalties waived? The answer, if you haven’t had any run ins with the IRS recently is….


The IRS offers an administrative waiver for certain penalties called the First Time Abatement. The basic idea behind the waiver is that if taxpayers haven’t had any issues recently there isn’t a need to make them pay penalties. They just made a small error but otherwise have been acting in good faith. Even better, despite the name you can use this waiver more than once!

The IRS assesses qualifying penalties for paying or filing late. The IRS’s technical names for these penalties are the “Failure-to-File or FTF Penalty”, “Failure-to-Pay FTF Penalty”, and the “Failure-to-Deposit or FTD Penalty.” The IRS will likely approve your request if you have filed and paid on time for the last three years.

Potential Issues Qualifying

Unfortunately, even though underpaying estimated taxes or being assessed non-substantial penalties isn’t supposed disqualify you… yep you guessed it, sometimes they do. These kind of errors are often due to poor training on the part of the IRS agent or faulty software. To make things worse that’s isn’t just a matter of my professional opinion. It’s actually the US Governments position. After completing a comprehensive study, the taxpayer advocate, the government funded IRS watchdog, a stated that the software used to screen First Time Abatement candidates was consistently wrong. This means that what should be a simple process is often much harder.

How to DIY a First Time Abatement

While we advise engaging a professional for a variety of reasons there is nothing wrong with trying to apply yourself. After all you can always have a professional appeal the decision or try again for you. In fact, it’s one of the easier things you can attempt on your own.

The number to call is 1-800-829-1040. Don’t forget to have your tax return handy when you call. The agent will ask for a bunch of information to verify your identity.

How to Have Us Do It for You

If you get denied, can’t get through, or just don’t have the time to wait on the phone we can help. We offer a contingency based penalty abatement service. That means that if we can’t get the penalty abated, you won’t pay a dime for our services.

Given our track record we feel confident offering this risk-free engagement to clients. Many clients have expressed how much stress it took out of the process. Knowing they had nothing to lose and potentially everything to gain made the decision to engage us easy.
Related Services

Finally, we also offer a contingency based penalty review for prior years. We’ll use our specialized software and years of experience to comb through your IRS transcripts looking for ways to put more money back in your pocket. If we can’t or don’t find anything you won’t pay a dime. On the other hand, you might end up with a hefty refund you didn’t even realize was there.

Serving Central and Northern Maine and Beyond

If you are struggling with an unfair penalty at the Internal Revenue Service and you live in central or northern Maine consider giving us a call for a zero-risk initial consultation. Located in Bangor, we work with clients from southern Maine, through Augusta, all the way up to Fort Kent.

If you are outside of our home state and want a second or even a first opinion, consider giving us a call. We regularly work with out of state referrals.

We can work locally and nationally because we are admitted to practice before all levels of the Internal Revenue Service. Furthermore, by virtue of that admittance we are permitted to practice before all levels of the Maine Revenue Service, the Maine Board of Tax Appeals, and 48+ other state taxing authorities.

Other Articles You Might Find Helpful
Don’t File An Offer in Compromise 
When to file an Offer in Compromise
Understanding Maine Revenue Service Offers in Compromise
Maine Property Tax Bills Piling Up?
Owe Maine Income Taxes?
Do I qualify for a First Time Penalty Abatement?


Great Outcomes

J.P. Oltmann is proud to provide tax representation for individuals and small businesses across Maine.

Helping Clients Achieve Their Personal,
Professional, and Financial Goals in the
Wake of a Tax Controversy

Schedule a Free Consultation Refer a Client