Your IRS collections case is a problem — but every tax problem has a solution. The remedy that is right for you could be an offer in compromise (OIC) to settle your affairs with the IRS. To know this for sure, however, you should seek the skilled assistance of an experienced law firm that specializes in personal and corporate tax controversies, and gets results for its clients.

An offer in compromise is an agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS that settles the taxpayer’s tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed. The three types of offers in compromise pertain to:

Doubt as to collectability — when doubt exists that the taxpayer could ever pay the full amount of tax, penalties and interest owed within the remainder of the collection statute. An offer will not be accepted if the IRS believes that the liability can be paid in full as a lump sum or through a payment plan. In most cases, the IRS will not accept an OIC unless the amount offered by the taxpayer is equal to or greater than the reasonable collection potential (RCP). The RCP is how the IRS measures the taxpayer’s ability to pay and includes the value that can be realized from the taxpayer’s assets such as real property, automobiles, bank accounts and other property. The RCP also includes anticipated future income, less certain amounts allowed for living expenses.

Doubt as to liability — when doubt exists that the assessed tax liability is correct, if penalties were assessed even though the taxpayer meets the criteria for nonassertion of penalties (reasonable cause) and if, during an audit, the examiner failed to consider the taxpayer’s evidence, or the taxpayer has new evidence to substantiate positions taken on a tax return.

Effective tax administration — when the assessed tax is correct and the IRS has determined that there is potential to collect the full amount of the tax owed, but an extraordinary circumstance exists that would allow the IRS compromise. To be eligible for compromise on this basis, a taxpayer must demonstrate that the collection of the tax would create an economic hardship or would be unfair, in violation of public policy or inequitable.

Once a valid offer in compromise is filed, the IRS is prohibited from taking collection action against the taxpayer until after a determination is made and after the appropriate appeal period. The IRS is not bound by either the offer amount or the terms proposed by the taxpayer. Oftentimes, there are extensive negotiations between the OIC investigator and the taxpayer or representative.

Call our office at 703-621-7169 for a free initial consultation to see if you would qualify to file an Offer in Compromise. Based in the Northern Virginia area, we assist clients nationally and globally.