An offer in compromise allows you to settle your tax debt for less than the full amount you owe. It may be a legitimate option if you can’t pay your full tax liability, or doing so creates a financial hardship.
The offer program provides eligible taxpayers with a path toward paying off their tax debt and getting a “fresh start.” The ultimate goal is a compromise that suits the best interest of both the taxpayer and the IRS. An OIC is generally not accepted if the IRS believes the liability can be paid in full as a lump sum or a through payment agreement. The IRS looks at the taxpayer’s income and assets to make a determination of the taxpayer’s reasonable collection potential.
What is Reasonable Collection Potential?
– To determine the taxpayer’s ability to pay, the IRS determines a value of the taxpayer’s income and assets and adds his/her ability to pay in the future. The combined value of those three components is known as “Reasonable Collection Potential”(RCP).
The IRS considers your current circumstances. Including:
- Ability to pay;
- Expenses; and
- Asset equity.
– Before the IRS will consider your offer, you must be current with all filing and payment requirements. You are not eligible if you are in an open bankruptcy proceeding.
Select a payment option
Your initial payment will vary based on your offer and the payment option you choose:
- Lump Sum Cash: Submit an initial payment of 20 percent of the total offer amount with your application. Wait for written acceptance, then pay the remaining balance of the offer in five or fewer payments.
- Periodic Payment: Submit your initial payment with your application. Continue to pay the remaining balance in monthly installments while the IRS considers your offer. If accepted, continue to pay monthly until it is paid in full.
While your offer is being evaluated:
- Your non-refundable payments and fees will be applied to the tax liability;
- A Notice of Federal Tax Lien may be filed;
- Other collection activities are suspended;
- The legal assessment and collection period is extended;
- Make all required payments associated with your offer;
- You are not required to make payments on an existing installment agreement; and
- Your offer is automatically accepted if the IRS does not make a determination within two years of the IRS receipt date.