By: Cary Bryson
People ask me all of the time – "Is it really possible to settle with the IRS for pennies on the dollar and have the rest of my tax bill forgiven?"
Here's my best answer – "Yes, it is possible . . . but it's not easy and the odds are not in your favor."
What these people are referring to is called an Offer-In-Compromise (or Offer or OIC), and it used to be the only legitimate way to negotiate an actual lowering of the amount of taxes owed to the IRS by a taxpayer.
However, since the IRS has seen so much "abuse" of this particular method of tax relief in recent years, it has shown by their actions that it is less and less apt to accept an Offer-In-Compromise.
In a press release dated October 2004, the IRS stated "This program serves an important purpose. But we do warn taxpayers to watch out for unscrupulous promoters charging excessive fees to taxpayers who have no chance of meeting the program's requirements," said IRS Commissioner Mark W.
Everson. "Taxpayers should not be duped by high-priced promises."
In fact, as of 2006, the IRS rejected 85% of all Offers-in-Compromise.
So, keeping all of this in mind, an Offer may not be the right option for you. We'll only pursue an Offer-In-Compromise if it's right for you. There's no sense in pursuing a payment option with a 15% success rate if there's little hope that it will be accepted. This will only add interest and penalties to the tax bill.
Only after a complete review of your case would I recommend and Offer-In-Compromise.
In fact, if you choose to hire a lawyer to represent you before the IRS, it's critical that he is looking out for you and only wants the best outcome for your case. A true professional will tell you the best course of action for you based on their knowledge of the tax laws . . . even if it's not necessarily what you want to hear.
Any good lawyer representing you must have a full knowledge of all other options available through the IRS. Plus, he should be able to thoroughly examine your case before he ever makes a suggestion of the best action to take.
There are other options if an Offer doesn't work for you. The Partial Payment Installment Agreement (or PPIA) is one form of payment that may allow you to pay off your taxes and have part of the debt forgiven.
With this new method, the IRS considers how much you owe before the 10-year statute of limitations runs out.
For instance, if you have 7 years (84 months) left before the 10-year statute runs out and you owe $15,000, you may be able to work out paying only what you can afford during the 7-year period.
If it can be proven to the IRS that you can only afford to pay $100 per month, with a Partial Payment Installment Agreement, you may end up paying $8400 and not have to pay the rest of the $15,000, essentially forgiving $6600 in debt.
The key is arguing effectively that $100/month is all you can afford. That's where a good attorney can make all the difference. You can call us right now at 337-233-4210 to set up a FREE confidential appointment to discuss your situation and find out if a Partial Payment Installment Agreement might be the way to go for you in your situation.
You should experience the comfort and convenience of working with a local attorney. Yes, it is true that a tax professional can legally represent you before the IRS if he lives thousands of miles away from you. But, is that what you really want when you're dealing with something as stressful as IRS problems?
Or would you rather have someone who you can speak with face-to-face . . . who lives near you . . . and has a reputation to uphold in your community?
Remember, it won't cost you a thing to talk to us for the initial consultation. It's free!
Your situation may or may not be suited for an Offer-In-Compromise. Either way, I guarantee that by the time we review your case, you'll have our best, truthful recommendation on what course of action you should take.
Regardless if you decide to have us represent you or not, you'll feel better about your situation after speaking with us.