The IRS will forgive and waive compounding fees from penalties and interest due to late or no payments if you qualify with a reasonable cause. Reasonable cause as defined by the IRS will generally include: the death, serious illness or injury of yourself or a family member, unavoidable absence or situations outside of your control such as a civil disturbance, severe weather, or simply a lack of funds. Also, if you can prove that the fees and penalties were incurred due to ill advice from an IRS employee you can qualify for penalty abatement.
Filing for penalty abatement is relatively simple. Along with IRS Form 843, provide written documentation of your reasoning along with any proof you have of the situation to the IRS.