Non-Profit Kids

Today TaxMama hears from Deb in the Tax Parlor who says, “Our PTA finished up our 990EZ form and sent it home with the PTA President’s son to get her signature on it and mail it . But it sat in his bookbag for a couple days before she found it. To make a long story short, they are charging us a late filing penalty of $480! Do you think we have an argument for “Reasonable Cause” to reduce or remove the penalties? This is a big bite out of our budget for an innocent mistake.”

Dear Deb,

Oh goody, yes, that’s exactly what I would do with important tax documents.
Yup, give it to a kid, who rarely even acknowledges the existence of adults in his universe. And then, I’d be absolutely certain NOT to call his mom and tell her to get those docs out of his backback. And just to be really, really sure she got it, I’d insure that I’d never call Mom and ask her if she has the docs in her hot little hands. I wouldn’t call that evening. And I’d definitely not call the next day. Not even on the day of the filing deadline.

Yup. Works for me.

Do you see what IRS is going to think when you write to them asking them to waive the penalties? You bet the folks reading your letter are going to have thoughts like that running through their heads.

Don’t let that worry you Debbie.

Send them a letter and apologize. Promise this will never happen again. Point out that this is a first and only instance. And “Please, do see your way clear to canceling these penalties.”

Sometimes it takes one or two follow-up letters. But on first offenses like this, IRS has been good about excusing the penalty.

Good luck!

And remember, you’ll find answers to lots of questions about IRS penalties and other tax information, free. Where? At

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