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Last Updated: 5/14/2015

Penalty Abatement

​When Can an Abatement of Penalty be Requested

You may ask the Department of Revenue to abate penalties we have assessed if you can show that circumstances beyond your control prevented you from filing or paying your Sales and Use Tax on time, or from paying electronically if you’re required to do so.

Examples of such circumstances, or “reasonable cause”, include:

  • Serious illness or death of the taxpayer or an immediate family member.
  • Unforeseen disasters or “acts of God” – such as severe weather, fire, flood, or explosion – that result in loss of your home, place of business, or personal or business records.
  • Theft, arson, or the loss of data or records during a move, or while held by another person or business for computerization or processing. (Generally, the fact that a tax return preparer has your records isn’t reasonable cause.)
  • Embezzlement, fraud or other crimes committed against you by an employee or another person responsible for filing the return or paying the tax.
  • Your bank’s refusal to transfer your funds or honor your check, as long as it’s through no fault of your own. (Not having sufficient funds in your account, by itself, isn’t reasonable cause.)

How to Request a Penalty Abatement

You may request an abatement within 60 days from the department's first written notice that penalty has been assessed. There is no requirement to pay tax and interest before an abatement is considered. If reasonable cause exists, the abatement request will not be denied because of unpaid tax.
Provide a clear, written explanation of the reason(s) your tax return or payment was late and why you feel the penalty should be abated. You must also include the following:
  • Your contact information.
  • Your Minnesota tax ID number.
  • The period covered by your request.
  • Any documentation you have to substantiate your request (such as a printed or online newspaper obituary, medical bill or insurance statement).
Submit your abatement request one of the following ways:
  • through the "messages" feature in your e-Services account;
  • by email to the department's Sales and Use Tax Division at;
  • by fax to 651-556-3102; or
  • by mail to:

                     Minnesota Department of Revenue

                     Mail Station 6330

                     St. Paul, MN 55146-6330

 Include "Request for Penalty Abatement' in the message subject line or write it on the mailing envelope.

Once we review your request, we’ll notify you of our decision by mail.
  • If we grant your request we’ll issue a refund for the abated penalty. (Interest on taxes you filed or paid late is not abated and remains due.)
  • If we deny your request and you haven’t paid the amount due, additional penalties and interest may apply.
Note: If you have received a Demand to Pay letter, you must request an abatement from the department’s Collection Division. Your request must be made within 60 days of the date on the department’s penalty notice or letter. For more information, see Collections Information.