Owe the IRS? Have penalties and interest accrued and seriously increased the amount you owe? You can never abate interest. You can, in some cases, have the penalties abated. Here are a couple of options.
1. If you only owe for one or two years you can ask for "first time penalty abatement" on the first year only.
2. If you owe for many years, you will need to write a letter to the IRS requesting that they abate the penalties due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect. You will need to provide documents that substantiate what went wrong and why you did not file and or pay your taxes. It will need to be a situation that affected your entire life, not just your taxes.
I forgot or I was busy and didn't have time are not considered reasonable cause. Write up a compelling argument, provide documentation to show why your taxes and your entire life fell apart.
If you need assistance preparing your letter contact a tax professional such as an Enrolled Agent.