How to Qualify and Submit Your IRS Offer in Compromise for Tax Relief!

The IRS Offer in Compromise (OIC) program presents an opportunity to settle tax debts for less than the full amount owed. This guide will delve into how to make an offer in compromise to the IRS, explore the offer in compromise requirements, and outline how to qualify for offer in compromise for this option.
This blog aims to demystify the process, concentrating on eligibility criteria and the steps necessary for submitting an OIC, while offering insights and advice to boost your chances of approval.
Continue reading to discover the criteria to qualify for an offer in compromise, ensuring your application is both accurate and effective.

Settling Tax Debt: Understanding the Offer in Compromise to the IRS!

The IRS Offer in Compromise program provides a pathway for both individuals and businesses to resolve their tax liabilities by settling for an amount lower than what is fully owed. This arrangement is particularly advantageous for those who find themselves unable to settle their entire tax bill or for whom paying in full would result in financial distress.
At its core, this program evaluates your financial capability, considering factors such as your income, expenses, and the value of your assets, to reach a settlement that reflects your ability to pay.
However, directing the details of an IRS offer in compromise can be difficult. The process demands detailed documentation, a comprehensive grasp of tax regulations, and effective negotiation skills to engage with the IRS.
Given these complications, seeking assistance for an offer in compromise is essential. This support can demystify the process, ensuring that all necessary paperwork is accurately completed and that you are well-prepared to negotiate an agreement that is both fair and within your financial means.

8 Simple Steps to Qualify for an Offer in Compromise

Ensure Compliance with Tax Filing and Payment Requirements

Before considering an OIC, taxpayers must comply with all filing and payment requirements:

  • Tax Returns: You must have filed all required tax returns. The IRS requires that taxpayers be fully compliant with their tax filing obligations.
  • Estimated Tax Payments: Individuals must be up-to-date with estimated tax payments for the current year.
  • Federal Tax Deposits: Businesses must have made all required federal tax deposits for the current quarter.

Understand the Types of Debt Eligible for an OIC

Income Taxes: This includes taxes owed on personal income, business income, or investment income. The IRS is most frequently approached for OICs concerning outstanding income tax

  • Payroll Taxes: Small businesses struggling with payroll taxes may qualify for an OIC. However, there are restrictions, and not all payroll tax liabilities are eligible. Typically, the
    IRS is more cautious with payroll taxes since these are trust fund taxes withheld from employees’ wages.
  • Penalties and Interest: Penalties and interest accrued on the above types of taxes are also eligible for compromise. If the principal tax debt qualifies for an OIC, the associated
    penalties and interest can be included in the settlement amount.

Assess Your Financial Situation

The IRS considers an OIC based on a taxpayer’s ability to pay, income, expenses, and asset equity. This assessment is crucial in determining whether the IRS will view an OIC as a viable option:

  • Ability to Pay: The IRS evaluates your overall financial situation to determine your ability to pay the tax debt.
  • Income: Your current income is assessed to gauge how much you can contribute to your debt.
  • Expenses: Allowable living expenses are considered to understand how much income is left over after these are covered.
  • Asset Equity: The value of your assets is evaluated to determine your ability to pay the debt.

Calculate Your Reasonable Collection Potential (RCP)

The IRS uses the Reasonable Collection Potential (RCP) to decide if a taxpayer qualifies for an OIC. The RCP is an estimate of the taxpayer’s ability to pay, comprising the value of your assets plus the amount that could be collected from your future income. Calculating your RCP accurately is critical for making a realistic offer that the IRS is likely to accept.

Complete the Necessary Forms

Submitting an OIC requires filling out specific forms and providing thorough documentation:

  • Form 656, Offer in Compromise: This form is the actual offer where you state the amount you can pay.
  • Form 433-A (OIC) for individuals or Form 433-B (OIC) for businesses: These forms collect detailed financial information needed to assess your RCP.

Pay the Application Fee and Initial Payment

There is a non-refundable application fee for processing an OIC (waived for qualifying low-income taxpayers). Additionally, you must choose between a lump-sum or periodic payment option for your offer and make the initial payment accordingly. This payment is applied to your tax debt and is not returned if your offer is rejected.

Await IRS Decision

After submission, the IRS reviews your offer, which may include requests for additional information. This review process can take several months.

Understand Potential Outcomes

The IRS may accept, reject, or counter your offer. If accepted, you must adhere to the terms of the agreement, including staying compliant with all filing and payment requirements for the next five years. If rejected, you can appeal the decision.

Who Qualifies for an Offer In Compromise?

Individuals and Businesses with Insufficient Assets and Income

  • Individuals: Those whose total assets and income are insufficient to cover their tax debt. This includes taxpayers who, after paying for basic living expenses, need more leftover income to fully pay the tax liability within the collection statute expiration date (usually 10 years from the date the tax was assessed).
  • Businesses: small businesses face similar financial constraints, where the business assets and future income are inadequate to cover the tax liabilities.

Taxpayers Experiencing Exceptional Circumstances

  • Hardship Cases: Individuals who can demonstrate that paying the full amount of taxes owed would create an economic hardship or would be unfair and inequitable. This includes situations where the taxpayer has expenses that are considered necessary and there is little to no disposable income after these are paid.
  • Special Situations: In some cases, taxpayers with certain extenuating circumstances, such as serious health problems, may qualify even if their financial situation might not seem dire at first glance. These are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Taxpayers Able to Pay a Portion of the Liability

Those who can pay a portion of their tax debt but not the full amount may qualify if they can make a reasonable offer that reflects their maximum collection potential (MCP), which is determined based on their assets and future income potential.

Qualification through Effective Tax Administration (ETA)

Taxpayers who do not meet the strict criteria based on doubt as to collectibility or doubt as to liability but can argue that paying the debt would either be unfair or inequitable may qualify under the Effective Tax Administration provision. This is often applicable to older taxpayers or those with health issues, where collecting the full tax liability would cause economic hardship.

Other Tax Relief Options Offered by Best Tax Pro!

  1. IRS Tax Debt Settlement Help
  2. IRS Tax Audit Defense Solutions
  3. IRS Tax Audit Reconsideration
  4. Installment Agreements
  5. Penalty Abatement
  6. Currently Not Collectible (CNC) Status
  7. Innocent Spouse Relief
  8. Bankruptcy

End Note

Understanding how to qualify and submit your IRS Offer in Compromise (OIC) is crucial for anyone seeking tax relief. Being an IRS offer in compromise qualifier requires a thorough evaluation of your financial situation to demonstrate that you cannot fully pay your tax liabilities due to financial hardship.

Knowing an appropriate offer in compromise with the IRS involves carefully calculating your reasonable collection potential and ensuring that your offer aligns with your ability to pay while satisfying IRS requirements.

Additionally, Best Tax Pro provides services for dealing with IRS Back Taxes, Unfiled Tax Returns, IRS Tax Liens, offering a comprehensive approach to managing and resolving a variety of tax-related issues.


Mr. Joshua A. Webskowski

Joshua specializes in successfully resolving cases in all areas of tax resolution including liens, levies, & other IRS collections cases.

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