An Offer in Compromise can be an effective way individuals and businesses to settle federal tax debt. This federal program allows taxpayers to enter into an agreement, with the IRS, that settles a tax debt for less than the full amount owed. Sometimes taxpayers are able to settle for significantly less, especially if they have low income and few assets. This type of agreement is an option when taxpayers can’t pay their full tax liabilities or when paying the entire balance owed would cause financial hardship. The goal is a compromise that suits the best interests of both the taxpayer and the IRS. Individual taxpayers and business owners should review the IRS’s Offer in Compromise Booklet to learn how these agreements work and decide if it could help them resolve their tax debts.
When reviewing OIC applications, the IRS considers the taxpayer’s unique set of facts and any special circumstances affecting the taxpayer’s ability to pay, as well as:
- Asset equity
The booklet covers everything a taxpayer needs to know about submitting an offer in compromise, including:
- Who is eligible to submit an offer
- How much it costs to apply
- How the application process works
The booklet also includes the forms that taxpayers must complete as part of the offer in compromise process. The current application fee is $205. However, taxpayers who meet the definition of a low-income taxpayer don’t have to pay this fee.