You may be thinking about filing an offer in compromise with the IRS. The IRS has sent you letter after letter for the past year threatening more severe action and penalties, from wage garnishment to seizure of your home and furnishings. You owe hundreds of thousands of dollars you know you cannot pay, and you do not see a way out, even if you wanted to settle. Is there anything you can do? Do you have to pay all interest and penalties accrued on your tax debt?
What is an Offer in Compromise?
An Offer in Compromise (OIC) is a tool designed to help filers who have substantial tax debt to make a settlement offer to the IRS for a reduced total amount. Not all applicants are eligible for an OIC. If you have filed for bankruptcy, you are not eligible until the bankruptcy is discharged. The IRS will not consider a settlement OIC from the taxpayer unless they have filed all back tax returns and made an estimated tax payment for the current tax year.
When submitting, the taxpayer must forward a filing fee for processing and make a partial payment in good faith for the IRS to consider the offer. Individuals must file a Form 656-B (Offer in Compromise Booklet), all application fees, and offer payments based on the tax debt the individual is seeking to compromise. The taxpayer has the option to pay a lump sum fee or make monthly installments while the IRS considers the Offer in Compromise. It is crucial that the taxpayer relies on accurate information and not falsify records or evidence submitted in their OIC, or they could face additional civil and criminal penalties.
Benefits of Settling Tax Debt
If you choose to ignore letters from the IRS they will take legal action against you. The IRS has the power to garnish your wages, file a lien against your car or home, and severely restrict your ability to enjoy life until your tax debt is paid. Meanwhile, interest and penalties will continue to accrue if you do not make a good faith effort to reach out and determine what you owe and from what tax year.
However, you do not always have to pay all interest and penalties or the total amount demanded by the IRS. The benefits of settling tax debt early on include avoiding bankruptcy proceedings, reducing the total amount you must pay, protecting your credit and your assets, and resolving issues without going to court. You are strongly advised to consult with a tax attorney specializing in IRS litigation and Offers in Compromise before you contact the IRS yourself. The Offer in Compromise is an offer that the IRS does not have to accept; it is a tool for negotiations, but you want a skilled litigator on your side to assist you. Our Offer in Compromise attorneys at North Suburban Legal Services have helped many clients in similar positions settle tax debt and are not intimidated by the IRS.
Contact the Chicago Tax Attorneys at North Suburban Legal Services, LLC
If you or a family member are facing a tax controversy or have been contacted by the IRS about fees or penalties, you may be concerned about what could happen next. The IRS is a powerful government entity with the ability to upend life as you know it. However, there are strategies for settling tax debt and substantially reducing what you owe. Our Chicago offer in compromise attorneys at North Suburban Legal Services specialize in tax litigation and can provide you with crucial guidance at this juncture. Call us today to schedule a consultation at (312) 909-6089.