What If I Owe More to the IRS Than I Can Afford to Pay?
April 14, 2021
Statistics from the 2019 Internal Revenue Service Data Book indicate that over 11 million Americans owed more than a combined $125 billion in back taxes, penalties, and interest to the IRS. Paying back taxes can help you avoid additional penalties and interests and protect your public benefits, but things can quickly become complicated if you owe the IRS more than you can afford to pay. An experienced tax law attorney can review your situation and determine how to best resolve your tax issues.
At Zuckerman Law, LLC, I'm dedicated to providing knowledgeable and experienced legal guidance to clients in tax-related matters. As your legal counsel, I can evaluate your circumstances and help you explore your options to get tax relief. I will offer you personalized service and help you pursue your desired results. My firm proudly serves clients in Fort Lauderdale and the rest of Broward County, as well as the surrounding areas throughout South Florida, including Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, and Collier counties.
The IRS Collection Process
The IRS collection process starts when you receive a bill indicating the amount of taxes owed, including interests and penalties. You will continue receiving the bill until:
You pay your taxes in full
You satisfy your accounts
The IRS cannot legally collect the taxes owed (the period for collection expires)
The first notice (bill) will be a letter explaining the balance due, payment options, and the due date. The bill will also include any penalties and interest accumulated by your back taxes.
Taxpayers who are unable to pay their balance in full immediately may qualify for either a short-term or long-term payment plan.
If you fail to pay the balance using the payment plan or fail to contact the IRS, you will receive a final bill. The IRS will take further action to recover the balance if you ignore the final bill.
The IRS can take any of the following collection actions to recover their money:
Offsetting future refunds
Federal tax lien
Notice of intent to levy
Nonrenewal of your passport
If you owe more than you can afford to pay in tax debts, there are options available for you to get tax relief.
Taxpayers who are unable to make full payments immediately may qualify for additional time. Depending on your balance, you can choose either a short-term payment plan or a long-term payment plan.
Short-term Payment Plan: A short-term payment plan gives you up to 120 days to make full payment. This plan is available for taxpayers who less than $100,000 in combined tax, penalties, and interest.
Long-term Payment Plan: A long-term payment plan or Direct Debit Installment Agreement (DDIA) gives you an extended period to pay in full. This plan is available for taxpayers who owe $50,000 or less in combined tax, penalties, and interest.
Offer in Compromise
Another option to get tax relief is through the "offer in compromise" (OIC). This is an agreement with the IRS that allows you to offset your tax debt by paying an agreed-upon reduced sum. Offer in compromise may be right for you if you owe more than you can pay or if paying the back taxes puts you in financial distress.
At times, paying your tax debt can make you unable to meet your basic needs and monthly expenses. In these situations, you can ask the IRS for a temporary delay in collection efforts until you are financially stable enough to pay.
Possible Penalties for Non-Payment
If you fail to pay your back taxes, the IRS may:
Charge you a failure-to-pay penalty
Seize or levy your assets and property
Levy your financial accounts or garnish your wages
Place a lien on your property
Let an Experienced Attorney Help You
Filing back taxes and resolving tax debt issues often involve a lot of complexities. When owing the IRS more than you can afford to pay, it is important to receive proper guidance from experienced legal counsel. A knowledgeable Florida tax law attorney can explore your available options to pay the balance and get relief.
I have devoted my career to providing experienced legal services and guiding clients through the complexities of filing back taxes. As your legal counsel, I can
Review your tax records
Find out your outstanding balance with the IRS
Help negotiate a reduced payment or set up a payment plan with the IRS
Explore additional options to help you get tax relief
Contact me at Zuckerman Law, LLC today to schedule a consultation with an experienced tax law attorney. I can provide you the comprehensive legal guidance, assistance, and support you need to deal with your past-due taxes. I am proud to serve clients in Fort Lauderdale and the rest of Broward County, as well as the surrounding areas throughout South Florida, including Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, and Collier counties.