What Is An Offer In Compromise?

Is the federal government trying to collect back taxes from you, your family, or your business? If so, it is normal to be stressed out and overwhelmed—especially if you believe the amount is incorrect, unfair, or you cannot reasonably pay. The good news is that there are some options available. As explained by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), an offer in compromise (OIC) “allows you to settle your tax debt for less than the full amount you owe.” In this article, our offer in compromise attorney in Chicago explains the most important things to know about working out this type of arrangement with the IRS.

Offer in Compromise: Three Qualifying Conditions

The IRS is responsible for collecting taxes. The federal agency has been empowered with a wide range of different collection tools. That being said, the IRS also has the discretion to settle tax debt for less in certain circumstances. Most often, this is done through an offer in compromise (OIC). When accepted by the agency, an OIC can clear outstanding federal tax liability. To obtain an offer in compromise, a taxpayer must demonstrate one of three qualifying conditions:

  • Doubt of Liability: Do you believe that the IRS is charging you with more tax than you actually owe? If so, you may be able to settle that debt for less through an offer in compromise. If there is some doubt of liability, the IRS has the power to settle the matter for less.
  • Inability to Pay: The IRS can accept an OIC if a taxpayer cannot reasonably pay their debt in full. Under federal law, the agency must assess the “collectability” of the tax debt. Among other things, the agency will consider a taxpayer’s income, expenses, financial resources, and overall ability to pay.
  • Extenuating Circumstances: The IRS can also approve an offer in compromise if there are extenuating circumstances. If the tax liability is inequitable, unfair, or would create an unreasonable financial hardship to the taxpayer, the debt can be settled for less.

April 2021 Update: A New Form to Apply for an Offer in Compromise

In April of 2021, the IRS released an updated version of Form 656—the primary application form that taxpayers can use to apply for an offer in compromise. In general, taxpayers must also complete and submit Form 433-A (individuals) or Form 433-B (businesses) to verify certain financial information. If you are considering seeking an offer in compromise, an experienced Chicago tax resolution lawyer can help you navigate the application process and get the best possible deal.

Contact Our Chicago, IL Tax Resolution Attorneys for Immediate Help

At North Suburban Legal Services LLC, our Chicago tax lawyers have the skills and experience to help people resolve their IRS debt. You may be eligible to resolve your tax debt for mere pennies on the dollar. If you have any questions about reaching an offer in compromise with the IRS, we are here to provide support. Contact us right away for your free, confidential initial consultation. From our Chicago office, we represent taxpayers in Cook County and throughout Northern Illinois. Call us at (312) 909-6089.

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