When it comes to installment payments, it used to be that the IRS wouldn't agree to the arrangement if the taypayer's debt would not get paid off before the statute ran out.
Accounting Today posted an article this morning claiming that undercover investigators from the Treasury Department were kept waiting for sometimes up to 4 hours at some Taxpayer Assistance Centers. In a few of the cases, they were even told they would have to come back the next day because there were already too many taxpayers in line for the day.
Accounting Today wrote an article regarding the IRS not responding to taxpayer correspondence on time. The IRS has a self-imposed 30 day deadline to report to inquires from taxpayers and it looks like only about 19% of them are receiving timely and accurate responses. The report says the IRS mails "interim letters" to taxpayers, but doesnt provide them with any information specific to their accounts. This leaves the taxpayers not clear on what they need to do next.
One way to get out of IRS debt is to be declared "Currently Non-Collectible" (CNC) by the IRS. Note the term "Currently".... As the name implies, Currently Non-Collectible means the IRS considers that your current financial situation makes it impossible for you to pay your taxes and they determine that they cannot collect the money from you...at least not for now.