The Internal Revenue allows you to avoid tax penalties if you have a valid excuse, known as reasonable cause. The following information is excerpted directly from the Internal Revenue Manual, IRM, section 188.8.131.52.1
1. Reasonable cause is based on all the facts and circumstances in each situation and allows the Service to provide relief from a penalty that would otherwise be assessed. Reasonable cause relief is generally granted when the taxpayer exercises ordinary business care and prudence in determining their tax obligations but is unable to comply with those obligations.
2. In the interest of equitable treatment of the taxpayer and effective tax administration, the nonassertion or abatement of civil penalties based on reasonable cause or other relief provisions provided in this IRM must be made in a consistent manner and should conform with the considerations specified in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), Regulations (Treas. Regs.), Policy Statements, and Part 120.1.
3. Reasonable cause relief is not available for all penalties; however, other exceptions may apply.
I have been successful with some of my clients in having the IRS abate in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Hiring me or someone also who has knowledge of these Statutes, Rules and the Court Cases is highly recommended as the savings should outweigh the cost of hiring someone who is competent.