Civil Penalties Relief
565 West Adams Street, Suite 600, Chicago, IL 60661
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The Tax Practice of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
The Tax Practice of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law


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Chicago Tax Lawyers for Civil Penalties Relief

chicago attorney for civil penalty relief

IRS Tax Penalty Attorneys

Congress has provided a dizzying number of penalties in the Internal Revenue Code, designed to deter noncompliance and, most assuredly, to raise revenue. These penalties are all in addition to the accruing interest on the unpaid taxes (and on the penalties themselves). There are civil penalties ("additions to tax") for negligent reporting (20% of the understatement of tax), failing to timely file your tax return (5% per month), fraudulent non-filing (25% per month), failing to file information returns (up to $520 per return), and failing to timely pay your taxes (.5% per month), among many, many others. Most all of these penalties can be avoided if you can persuade the IRS that you had "reasonable cause" for the noncompliance, though establishing that is often a difficult task.

I believe the key to satisfying the reasonable cause basis for penalty relief is convincingly arguing that there were circumstances beyond your control that precluded you from filing the return or paying the tax on time. Combined with subsequent periods of uninterrupted compliance, the IRS will typically be inclined to grant relief, at least for first-timers. Beyond that scenario, the task becomes a bit more daunting and requires, I believe, some professional guidance.

Civil penalties may also arise against an individual for failure to pay over "trust fund" taxes – the employee share of payroll taxes. The Trust Fund Recovery Penalty is not really a penalty as much as it is a 100% personal liability imposed for the unpaid taxes that were withheld from an employee's wages but not paid over to the Service. Note that this penalty applies not only to business owners, but to any employee who is deemed a "responsible officer" by the IRS, i.e., someone with the authority to pay bills and/or responsibility for paying the taxes on behalf of the business.

Experienced Chicago Tax Lawyers

At the Tax Practice of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, we have substantial and extensive experience submitting and arguing penalty relief claims on behalf of clients before the IRS administratively as well as in the U.S. Tax Court. If you believe you may be entitled to relief from civil penalties, or the "responsible officer" trust find recovery penalties, or you simply need help stopping a levy and working out a collection resolution for those assessments, why not contact an attorney from our office to get an honest and straightforward evaluation of your position? At the Tax Practice, we are committed to aggressive, ethical, and personalized representation; why not make your problem our problem to solve?

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