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Published July 06, 2018 Irs

Offers in Compromise

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. We consider your unique set of facts and circumstances:

  • Ability to pay

  • Income

  • Expenses

  • Asset equity

We generally approve an offer in compromise when the amount you offer represents the most we can expect to collect within a reasonable period of time. Explore all other payment options before you submit an offer in compromise. The Offer in Compromise program is not for everyone. If you hire a tax professional to help you file an offer, be sure to check his or her qualifications.

Who Is Eligible

Confirm you're eligible and prepare a preliminary proposal with the Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier Tool.

You're eligible to apply for an Offer in Compromise if you:

  • Filed all required tax returns and made all required estimated payments

  • Aren't in an open bankruptcy proceeding

  • Have a valid extension for a current year return (if applying for the current year)

  • Are an employer and made tax deposits for the current and past 2 quarters before you apply

If You Apply and Are Not Eligible

If you apply for an Offer in Compromise and we can’t process your offer, we'll:

  • Return your application and offer application fee

  • Apply any offer payment you included to your balance due

Generally, an offer will not be accepted if the IRS believes that the liability can be paid in full as a lump sum or through a payment agreement. The IRS looks at the taxpayer’s income and assets to make a determination regarding the taxpayer’s ability to pay.


Select a Payment Option

Your initial payment varies based on your offer and the payment option you choose:

  • Lump Sum Cash: Submit an initial payment of 20% of the total offer amount with your application. If we accept your offer, you'll receive written confirmation. You must pay any remaining balance due on 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 IRS accepts your offer, continue to pay monthly until it is paid in full.

If You Meet the Low Income Certification Guidelines

You don't have to:

  • Send the application fee or the initial payment

  • Make monthly installments while we review your offer.

For details, see Form 656-B, Offer in Compromise BookletPDF.


Understand the Process

While IRS evaluates your offer:

  • Your non-refundable payments and fees are applied to the tax liability (you may designate payments to a specific tax year and tax debt)

  • IRS may file a Notice of Federal Tax Lien

  • IRS suspends other collection activities

  • Your legal assessment and collection period is extended

  • You make all required payments per your offer

  • You don't have to make payments on an existing installment agreement

  • Your offer is automatically accepted if the IRS doesn't not make a determination within two years of the IRS receipt date (This does not include any Appeal period.)

If Your Offer Is Accepted

  • You must meet all the Offer Terms listed in Section 7 of Form 656, including filing all required tax returns and making all payments

  • IRS doesn't release federal tax liens until your offer terms are satisfied

  • Certain offer information is available for public review by requesting a copy of a public inspection file.

If Your Offer Is Rejected

Published July 06, 2018 Irs

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