An Offer in Compromise (OIC) is an agreement between the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and a taxpayer that reconciles the taxpayer’s tax debt for less than what was originally owed. OIC’s may be the best option for taxpayers who are facing insurmountable tax debt and are unable to arrange a workable payment plan.
An OIC can relieve the taxpayer of the tax burden they are facing by allowing the taxpayer to pay a smaller portion of what is owed. However, it is up to the IRS to decide whether it wants to accept an OIC. The IRS can decide to accept the OIC or to reject it. The IRS is indeed owed the full amount of the tax debt. However, if the taxpayer explains his or her financial difficulties to the IRS, the IRS may find it more beneficial to accept less than the debt owed, than to have a taxpayer who is unable to make any payments. The IRS will make the determination whether to accept an OIC on a case-by-case basis.
The IRS will assess certain factors to determine whether or not to accept the OIC. The IRS will consider whether the tax debt was incorrectly assessed, whether the taxpayer will ever be able to pay the debt, and whether paying the tax debt will present an unfair and undue hardship on the taxpayer. Specifically, the IRS will consider the taxpayer’s income, expenses, and asset equity.
In order to be eligible for an OIC, the taxpayer must be current with all filing requirements, and cannot be in an open bankruptcy case.
If you are facing an insurmountable tax debt, you should contact a tax attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you obtain an OIC from the IRS. Because the IRS is not required to accept the offer, it is important that your case is properly presented to the IRS. An attorney can help you achieve this by fully preparing all the appropriate documentation. The attorney can also help you determine what grounds exist for your offer to be accepted and will build a case on your behalf.