Can you really settle your IRS tax debt with the Offer in Compromise option?

Have you seen the commercials on the television where a pitchman says that you can settle down your Federal tax bill for pennies? You might have been intrigued to know that it is finally possible to part with your unpaid Federal tax dues! But did you wonder about the authenticity of such commercials? Did you even think for a while whether or not it is actually possible to eliminate your tax dues? In a perfect world, you would have certainly parted with your tax bills but as you’re not living in a perfect world, it won’t be easy enough to let go of your tax bills but only in a situation where the taxpayer doesn’t have any asset or income to repay his tax debt, he would offer to settle his Federal tax debt. Just like you settle your credit card debt, you can also settle your IRS tax debt through the Offer in Compromise situation which is also known as the OIC.

Leveraging an Offer in Compromise to settle your Federal tax debt

With an enormous discount, it is possible to wipe out your tax slate clean. Only when you qualify for something that is known as OIC, the IRS will accept as little an amount as 1% of the total amount that you owe on the tax bill. Legally, it is not allowed that you can reduce your valid tax bill by the IRS. In recent years, only 25% of the OICs were accepted by the IRS but how will you know whether or not you qualify for an OIC?

Do you actually qualify for an Offer in Compromise?

You won’t be able to qualify for a deal with the IRS only when you feel the need to reduce your federal tax bills. In order to qualify for the OIC, you have to follow certain conditions like:

The condition only arises when there is some doubt regarding whether or not the IRS will be able to collect the tax bill from you, whether now or in the near future. This doubt is called “doubt as to collectibility” by the IRS.

Due to extremely dire financial circumstances, if the taxpayer has to go through economic hardship due to payment of the taxes, this would be inequitable or unfair. In such situations too, you will be able to qualify for Offer in Compromise.

The Offer in Compromise – How does this process work?

When you submit an offer to the Internal Revenue Service, this is a formal process as you can’t call them and tell them that you want to make a deal with them. The process includes a $150 application fee for filing an OIC, that you require attaching to Form 656. You might not require paying the fee when your monthly income is below poverty guidelines. If you offer the IRS to pay 5 payments within 5 months, you should send them minimum 20% of the offer along with the application. And in case you will take longer time to make the payments, you should pay the first installment with the offer. The IRS will check and scrutinize all such disclosures and then agree to the deal.

So, if you’re someone who is dreaming about consolidation of debt with regards to your federal tax debt, you will be highly disheartened. Tax debts can’t be consolidated. Either you pay them in full or settle them after taking into account the above mentioned criteria.