Define: Abatement

Quick Summary of Abatement

Abatement refers to the reduction, elimination, or removal of something undesirable or problematic. In legal contexts, abatement often refers to actions taken to remedy nuisances, violations, or hazards that affect property or the environment. For example, in property law, abatement may involve measures to address a building code violation or to eliminate a public nuisance such as noise pollution or an unsightly structure. Abatement can also refer to the reduction or cancellation of debts, taxes, or penalties owed by an individual or entity, often through negotiation, settlement, or legal proceedings. Overall, abatement aims to rectify issues, mitigate risks, and restore compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

What is the dictionary definition of Abatement?
Dictionary Definition of Abatement

Noun: the action of being abated or abating: subsiding or ending.

Law: the removal or reduction of a nuisance.

A reduction. After a death, abatement occurs if the deceased person didn’t leave enough property to fulfill all the bequests made in the will and meet other expenses. Gifts left in the will are cut back in order to pay taxes, satisfy debts or take care of other gifts that are given priority under law or by the will itself. (often in legal use) the ending, reduction, or lessening of something.

  1. The act of abating, or the state of being abated; a lessening, diminution, or reduction; a moderation; removal or putting an end to; the suppression of.
  2. The amount abated; that which is taken away by way of reduction; deduction; decrease; a rebate or discount allowed; in particular from a tax.
  3. heraldry A mark of dishonour on an escutcheon; any figure added to the coat of arms tending to lower the dignity or station of the bearer.
Full Definition Of Abatement

Abatement refers to a reprieve from or reduction in debt, tax or other payment obligation faced by an individual or company.

The most common form of abatement is tax abatement.

Tax abatement is also an incentive utilised by cities to encourage the redevelopment of distressed areas by providing real property tax abatement and eminent domain. Another type of abatement is related to the payment of rent. If a building is destroyed by fire, water damage or another accident, a renter is usually granted abatement from making rental payments.

A lesser-known form of abatement is penalty abatement, commonly associated with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Penalty abatement can help an individual or business reduce or eliminate an IRS penalty and/or interest. To request penalty abatement from the IRS, certain requirements must be met.

For example, penalty abatement might be granted if a business or individual is able to prove reasonable cause as to why they were unable to meet their tax obligations.

  1. Commerce: Reduction in the amount of a bill or charge such as demurrage, overtime penalty, or rent.
  2. Environment: Elimination or reduction of polluting or hazardous substances (such as asbestos) by either removing them completely or lessening their effect through better waste management.
  3. Legal: Suspension of court action, or bringing it to a close before the final decision.
  4. Taxation: Rebate given in levies or taxes under special circumstances, such as in the aftermath of natural disasters.

To reduce the intensity, amount or degree of a given activity.

Abatement is also used to describe the reduction of the emission of pollutants in environmental economics.

Technical abatement is a term used when referring to measures which involve production activities of businesses, for example, an introduction of a new, or an amendment to an existing process or technology.

Behavioural abatement is the changing of behaviours of consumers, or the changing of lifestyles in the customers.

Abatement FAQ'S

Abatement is a measure that alleviates or reduces a burden. It is a procedure that decreases the amount owed or imposed on a certain transaction.

The term abatement refers to a situation where an economic burden is reduced. This burden might take the form of debt, an import tariff, a tax, a fine, a penalty or a reduction of the percentage being charged, like an interest rate or a tax bracket reduction. Tax abatements are the most frequent scenarios where the term is employed and they are a reduction or exemption granted to an individual or a corporation by the government to encourage the expansion of certain activities or projects.

On the other hand, natural disasters and town-building are also activities that can create the necessity for a tax abatement to be issued. They normally have a predefined life span where they can be utilised and then the situation steps back to the regular taxing rules. Finally, debts can also be abated. This is a case that might take place in government-issued debt like student loans or industry-shaping loans, which are tools employed to promote activities within certain business fields like agriculture or farming. By granting abatements, the remaining debt balance can be partially or totally offset.

Common reasons for abatement include the death of a party to the proceedings, the expiration of a lease or contract, the destruction of property that is the subject of litigation, or the discovery of defects in legal documents.

Abatement typically puts legal proceedings on hold or brings them to a temporary halt until the issue causing the abatement is resolved or addressed.

Yes, if a party to a lawsuit dies during the proceedings, the lawsuit may be abated until the deceased party’s estate or representatives are substituted into the case or until the court determines the appropriate course of action.

In cases where legal obligations are subject to abatement, such as debts or contractual obligations, the obligations may be temporarily suspended or reduced until the abatement is resolved or lifted.

A party can request abatement by filing a motion with the court, providing evidence or reasons supporting the request, and seeking the court’s approval or order for abatement.

No, abatement is temporary, while dismissal is permanent. Abatement suspends legal proceedings until certain conditions are met, whereas dismissal terminates the proceedings altogether.

Yes, abatement can occur in criminal cases in situations such as the death of the defendant before sentencing or the discovery of procedural errors that require the case to be temporarily suspended or dismissed.

In property disputes, abatement may occur if the subject property is destroyed or rendered unusable during the litigation, requiring the proceedings to be temporarily suspended until the issue is resolved or the property is restored.

The duration of abatement varies depending on the circumstances of the case and the reasons for the abatement. It may last until the issue causing the abatement is resolved or until the court orders otherwise.


This site contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. Persuing this glossary does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

This glossary post was last updated: 29th March 2024.

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