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Waiver or Abatement of Penalties

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If you can show that your inability to timely file, pay, and/or deposit taxes you owe was due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect, you or your authorized representative (power of attorney) can request that TTB waive or abate (i.e., forgive/remove) financial penalties incurred for being late.

Note: There is no provision in the law that allows TTB to waive tax liabilities or interest on unpaid or late-paid taxes.

You can request an abatement of penalties if you have received a Notice and Demand letter or if you know that an assessment has been entered against you.

You can request a waiver of proposed penalties if you received a Notice of Proposed Assessment explaining that we plan to assess penalties, or if you know that you owe penalties, but you have not yet been contacted by us.

We may consider waiving or abating penalties if you can provide facts that demonstrate that there was reasonable cause for your failure to file a return and/or pay tax on time.

Generally, we will notify you within 30 days of receipt of all necessary information if we are approving or denying your request for waiver or abatement of penalties.

To learn more about tax penalties see 26 U.S.C. 6651, 26 U.S.C. 6656, 27 CFR 70.96(c), 27 CFR 70.97, 27 CFR 70.98(b), 27 CFR 70.103.

You must be able to demonstrate that your inability to timely file, pay, and/or deposit was due to reasonable cause, which means circumstances outside of your control prevented you from timely filing, paying, or depositing, such as a widespread municipal power outage or a fire at your facility.

Note: If your operations were affected by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic or by a natural disaster, you must
            supply a specific description of the circumstances that made you unable to send your tax returns or payments on time.

To request that TTB waive or abate penalties, you must send us a written request on company letterhead stationery that clearly describes the circumstances that prevented you from paying your tax and/or filing your return on time. Include documents or evidence to support your reasoning with your request.

The request must also include your Employer Identification Number (EIN) and the return period(s) impacted. If you are requesting relief after receiving a Notice of Proposed Assessment or Notice and Demand, include any reference number appearing in the upper right section of that document.

All requests must be signed under the following statement:

"I declare under the penalties of perjury that this request for [choose one: waiver / abatement] of penalties, including the documents submitted in support thereof, has been examined by me and, to the best of my knowledge and belief, is true, correct, and complete.”

If you make a request before you receive a Notice of Proposed Assessment, we may ask you to send all required tax returns and operational reports before we process your request.

Mail your letterhead request together with the applicable additional information to:
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau National Revenue Center
550 Main Street
Room 8970
Cincinnati, OH 45202-3222



All forms and documents must be signed by an individual who has legal authority to sign documents for the taxpayer.

  • If signing authority or power of attorney forms are not already on file with TTB, you may send an amendment in Permits Online to have them added. (Note: If the amendment is pending when you send your request for a waiver or abatement of penalties, please reference the Permits Online tracking number.)
  • Alternatively, you may send Signing Authority or Power of Attorney forms together with your request for a waiver or abatement of penalties.

Similarly, we can only discuss a request with an individual who has power of attorney or signing authority on file with TTB that authorizes such communication.



If you have questions about payment options, please contact us online, or call our toll-free number at 877-882-3277 (877-TTB-FAQS), Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.

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Last updated: November 21, 2022
Maintained by: Office of Permitting and Taxation