IRS audit

IRS Reasonable Cause Letter

An IRS reasonable cause letter is used to dispute any IRS tax penalties that you feel should not have been assessed. Your IRS reasonable cause letter will explain to the IRS that you have exercised reasonable cause in your attempt to comply with the IRS tax rules even though in the end you may have failed to comply.

IRS reasonable cause letter

When to send IRS reasonable cause letter?

If, for any reasons, you did not deliberately cheat, mislead or deceive the IRS, then you should send an IRS reasonable cause letter to explain your situation. You will only send a reasonable cause letter to the IRS if you have been assessed a tax penalty or the IRS has accused you of failing to comply with any sections of the tax laws.

How to write IRS reasonable cause letter?

In your reasonable cause letter to the IRS to explain your situation that you have acted in good faith with reasonable cause, you should structure your reasonable cause letter in the following format. Note that you can write your IRS reasonable cause letter however you want. Below is just an example of an IRS reasonable cause letter format. You can also use it as a checklist for your IRS reasonable cause letter.

  • your name & address
  • date
  • your social security number
  • reference to the letter from the IRS which you received
  • purpose of your IRS reasonable cause letter, stating that you are establishing reasonable cause to support your request for IRS tax abatement
  • explanation to establish reasonable cause
  • summary of why you sent your IRS reasonable cause letter