Finding a resolution when you owe money to the IRS can seem difficult, but there are steps you can take and options available to you no matter your situation. The IRS wants these issues resolved as much as you do, and with some communication, filing the correct paperwork, and submitting documentation on time, you can resolve many issues and settle your debt in a suitable manner. Here are some options to explore to help you find a resolution. (Image Credit: Flickr /Got Credit)
Offer in Compromise
An offer in compromise is a settlement offer you agree to with the IRS that settles your tax debt for less than the amount you owe. The goal is to come to a compromise that best suits the needs of both parties and allows the taxpayer to get a fresh start by paying their debt based on individual ability.
To be eligible for an offer in compromise, you must have filed all tax returns, received a bill of debt, and submitted an application. If the IRS accepts your offer, once you have completed payment on your reduced settlement, you’re debt will be considered paid. If your offer is not accepted, you have 30 days to resubmit your application or explore other options.
This program is optimal depending on your marital status. Although it does not reduce or excuse a debt, it does ensure that only the responsible party is held accountable for the repayment. If your spouse incurred a debt as a result of an error that you were unaware of, you can be absolved of any responsibility in the debt repayment.
Additionally, your debt may be considered “non-collectible” and frozen for a period of time if you have qualifying circumstances. These include such things as unemployment or underemployment. If paying your debt or a portion of it would cause you financial hardships the IRS can change your status to “currently non-collectible” or CNC. It will alleviate the pressure of immediate payment and stop any additional fees. Although your status will be revisited at another later date, it will help and allow you to be in a better position financially to repay.
In order to qualify for these and any other IRS tax resolution options, it is important to adhere to the IRS timelines and guides. Try to submit paperwork in a timely fashion before the listed deadlines, and be aware of any forms that you may need to fill out in advance. This will help to guarantee that you are eligible for the best option and make the experience as streamlined as possible. Additionally, in some cases, if you merely file previously overdue forms, your fines and penalties may be solved, reduced, or even forgiven.
Be sure to maintain open communication with the IRS and work with the agency in order to address any questions or issues you may have with paying back taxes. You can also consider working with a professional tax-relief service to help you navigate the process. Inform yourself about your options, the statute of limitations on collections, and be aware that the IRS can not force an individual to pay who is truly unable.