Can you resolve your back taxes owed to the IRS through an offer in compromise (OIC)? This tool provided by the tax code can help taxpayers get current on tax issues when they cannot afford to pay the entire tax as it stands. But before you head to the IRS to make an offer in compromise, find a good tax attorney to help. Why? Here are four of the most important reasons you should hire help.
1. Most Offers in Compromise Fail
Unfortunately for taxpayers, most OIC proposals are rejected by the IRS. The IRS isn't beholden to accept any offer, so the bar is set high. If the tax agency believes that it has a reasonable chance of getting the full amount before the statute of limitations expires, it has little motivation to settle for less. Give your OIC the best chance by crafting it with the help of a trained professional.
2. It's a Long Process
As with many things involving the IRS, submitting and completing an offer in compromise isn't a quick process. You will need to work out the details of your proposal, submit it using the correct forms and processes, respond to queries, and make timely payments if accepted. Make sure you don't miss any steps or deadlines by working with experienced legal assistance.
3. You May Have Better Options
Because of the low acceptance rate for proposals, a taxpayer should be certain that this is the best possible solution to their tax issue. Rather than try to negotiate a lower amount, for example, finding errors and amending prior returns is a lot simpler. Or perhaps the taxpayer advocate's office can help you get past the red tape. But most taxpayers don't know all their options and so need a tax attorney to help guide them.
4. More Money Is at Stake
Offers in compromise are tools largely used by taxpayers who owe a lot of money in taxes. The more you have at stake, the more you need to get it done and get it right. In fact, larger dollar amounts are often better candidates for OIC acceptance. But by the time you reach these levels of tax owed, you face many financial and legal risks — calling for an attorney to protect your rights.
Where Should You Start?
No matter what stage of the OIC process you're in, now is the time to meet with a qualified tax attorney to review your situation. They will work with you to identify any alternatives, design the best proposal, and follow through until completion. For more information, contact a tax attorney near you.