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How Does an Offer in Compromise Work | Flat Fee Tax Relief | Florida | United States

Updated: Aug 11


When individuals and businesses do not have the ability to pay a tax debt, the offer in compromise is the IRS vehicle for reaching a settlement. It’s not universally approved and there are a myriad of requirements that go into obtaining approval should you submit one, but the process is navigable with the right help and the right resources. It’s never necessary to deal with these things alone, so keep reading to learn how to get the help you need.

How is an Offer in Compromise Approved

The first required step to receiving a successful approval of your Offer in Compromise is making sure all your tax return filings and payments on existing payment plans are up to date. Should your tax settlement paperwork be out of order, the IRS has no way of determining what your total tax obligations are, and without that, it can’t decide what percentage of that debt it expects to reasonably collect. While it’s not required, an optional first step that can help if you are working on ensuring all those filings are in order is hiring a tax professional. 


Once you make sure all your filings are up to date, you will also need to fulfill the following requirements:

a. Form 433-A or 433-B must be submitted with all the supporting paperwork

b. Form 656 must also be completed$186 nonrefundable fee

c. Nonrefundable payments for each Form 656

The key to approval is properly documenting the assets and expenses you have that prevent you from paying the entire tax debt. You’ll also have to select whether you are opting for a lump sum payment or installments over time. Should you opt for installments, you will need to make nonrefundable tax payments while waiting to learn if your offer is approved or not. If it is not approved, those payments will at least reduce the outstanding debt. Your tax professional may also be able to negotiate an offer in compromise the IRS will approve if they reject the first one. There is an appeal process that needs to be initiated within 30 days of a rejection to keep the process open.

Navigating the Repayment Process

If you want an Offer in Compromise to be approved, you need to understand what that entails, because it will impact your finances throughout the year and probably into the next tax year. Depending on how you structure your recovery from your current financial situation, it could impact your finances for longer. Remember, if you have a tax lien, it won’t go away until you’ve satisfied the repayment agreement in full. If you’re making installment payments, this needs to be accounted for.

You also need to be prepared to give up any tax return owed during the year your letter is accepted. That money will instead be applied toward your outstanding tax debts. It’s also important to realize certain information from the process will be available to the public via a report that can be requested.

Who Will Get Approved When They Submit an Offer in Compromise?

The Offer in Compromise is accepted by the IRS when the agency believes it represents the best chance of collecting the largest possible portion of the outstanding tax debt. The best way to determine what an appropriate offer will be is to work with a tax professional who understands the process and has a track record of getting approvals for clients. Without working with someone who has experience filing an IRS settlement for people with financial situations similar to yours, it’s hard to know what your chances of approval will look like. That means more than just finding a professional for advice, it means finding one whose service is built around people like you, whether it’s individuals, businesses, freelancers, or any other niche.

Tax Settlement - Important Information

If you do not currently have an outstanding federal tax lien, one may be filed as part of the review and approval process while you negotiate the Offer in Compromise. The payment and assessment process is also extended during the review period, and your nonrefundable payments take the place of any pre-existing installment plan you might have been paying toward. There’s also a self-help tool online that can help you better understand the process the IRS uses for evaluating these offer applications and deciding what to extend as a compromise.

The IRS will not approve a tax settlement if you are currently going through bankruptcy proceedings because your tax debt might fall under the purview of the judge ordering your debt restructuring and discharge. Make sure you handle any bankruptcy proceedings before you begin the process of reaching a compromise with the agency.

What to Expect if Your Offer in Compromise Is Accepted

The acceptance of the settlement offer isn’t the end of things, it’s the beginning of your opportunity to finalize the settlement of your tax debt. That means you’ll need to comply with all the stages of the repayment plan to avoid invalidating it. You also need to realize that the federal tax lien will remain until the payment plan is completed, so if it involves more than 12 installments, be ready to accommodate it in future financial planning.

Getting the Help You Deserve With Your Tax Debt

It’s never a good idea to approach complex financial decisions without sound advice from people who really understand the choices you’re weighing. THE NUMBER 1 REASON THE IRS REJECTS AN OFFER IN COMPROMISE SUBMISSION IS BECAUSE THE TAXPAYER DID THEIR OWN. That’s why tax professionals are available, to give you the resources and expertise to reach the best possible settlement with the IRS. FLAT FEE TAX RELIEF - FLAT FEE TAX SERVICE



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