What is it about the Offer-In-Compromise that's attracted so much attention? When President Clinton signed into law the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, it opened the door for taxpayers to potentially have crushing tax debt actually forgiven by the IRS.
Phony tax preparers may offer extravagant services through alleged clever use of the law. Watch out for such enticing claims. The IRS considers a taxpayer, not preparer, liable for false statements or mistakes on tax documents. Fortunately, there are several ways to ensure a tax prep service is legitimate.
Back taxes are simply taxes that you owe that you didn't pay when they were due. If you've underpaid taxes for any reason, the balance that you owe is considered back tax. You may have failed to report taxable income (intentionally or unintentionally, it doesn't matter) – as the IRS sees it...you still owe them money in the form of a back tax.