Best Guide to IRS Payment Plan: Tips to Resolve Tax Debt

IRS payment plan payment plan to irs payment plans with the irs

IRS payment plan or IRS tax payment plan

Struggling with tax debt? We can help you find a solution. In this article, we provide tips on navigating an IRS tax payment plan.

Navigating IRS payment plans may appear overwhelming, but with proper guidance, you can resolve your tax debt and regain control of your finances.

Understanding the available payment plan options from the IRS is crucial when dealing with tax debt.

Knowing the details of each option, such as installment agreements, offers in compromise, or other payment arrangements, is important.

We will break down the different IRS payment plans, explaining their eligibility requirements and how they can benefit you.

Moreover, we will share strategies for negotiating with the IRS and increasing your chances of securing a favorable payment plan. We will guide you through the process, from gathering necessary documentation to presenting a compelling case, empowering you to achieve a positive resolution.

Don’t let tax debt jeopardize your financial well-being. Keep reading for essential tips on resolving tax debt and navigating the complexities of IRS payment plans.

How does IRS tax payments or payment plans with the IRS usually work?

Navigating IRS tax payment or payment plans typically involves the following steps:

  1. Requesting a Payment Plan: If you owe taxes to the IRS and cannot pay the full amount by the due date, you can request a payment plan. You can do this by using the IRS Online Payment Agreement system, which allows you to apply for and receive approval for a payment plan to pay off your balance over time.
  2. Types of Payment Plans: The IRS offers various payment plan options. These may include monthly installment agreements, where you make regular monthly payments to settle your tax debt over time.
  3. Assessment of Eligibility: The IRS will assess your eligibility for a payment plan based on your financial situation. They may consider your income, expenses, and the amount you owe when determining the terms of the payment plan.
  4. Terms and Conditions: Once approved, the IRS will provide you with the terms and conditions of the payment plan. These will include the monthly payment amount, the due date, and the duration of the agreement.
  5. Payment Methods: You can make payments through various methods, such as direct debit, check, money order, or online payments. The IRS may recommend using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) for secure and convenient payments.
  6. Penalties and Interest: It’s important to note that even with a payment plan, you will still accrue penalties and interest on the unpaid balance until it’s fully paid. These additional charges are based on the outstanding amount.
  7. Staying Current: To maintain your payment plan, it’s crucial to make timely payments as agreed. Failure to do so may result in the IRS canceling the plan and taking collection actions.
  8. Monitoring Progress: You can monitor your payment plan and check your account balance through the IRS’s online tools.
  9. Modification or Termination: In some cases, you may need to modify your payment plan due to changes in your financial situation. You can request modifications, but the IRS will review your circumstances. Additionally, if you fail to comply with the terms of the plan, it may be terminated.
  10. Completion: Once you’ve paid off the entire tax debt, the payment plan will be considered complete, and the IRS will release any tax liens associated with the debt.

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How many months will the IRS do payment plans?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers different types of installment agreements for taxpayers who need to make payments over time. The duration of these payment plans can vary based on the amount owed and the type of taxpayer.

Individual Taxpayers:

For those owing $50,000 or less, the IRS generally allows installment payment plans for up to 72 months (6 years) without the need to provide financial information. This is part of the IRS’s Fresh Start program, which aims to make obtaining an installment agreement easier for taxpayers​​​​.

Business Taxpayers:

For businesses with a total balance of less than $25,000 in combined tax, penalties, and interest from the current and preceding tax years, the IRS offers installment agreements for up to 24 months (2 years)​​.

It’s important to note that these plans are subject to certain conditions and may require adherence to specific guidelines. Taxpayers must keep up with their monthly payments and file all required tax returns on time to avoid defaulting on their agreements.

Additionally, the IRS provides other payment options, such as short-term payment plans (11-120 days) for those who can pay off their balance more quickly​​.

Taxpayers who owe more than $50,000 or have specific circumstances may need to provide additional financial information and negotiate with the IRS to set up an installment agreement. The specific terms and conditions of these agreements can vary based on the individual or business situation and the amount owed.

Short-Term Payment Plan: This type of plan is generally for taxpayers who can pay off their tax debt within 120 days. It doesn’t usually involve a formal installment agreement, and there may not be a setup fee. However, penalties and interest will still apply until the balance is paid in full.

Long-Term Installment Agreement: If you cannot pay your tax debt within 120 days, you may qualify for a long-term installment agreement. These agreements can vary in duration but are typically set up for 72 months (6 years) or less. For taxpayers who owe a significant amount, the IRS may consider longer-term agreements.

Streamlined Installment Agreement: For taxpayers who owe less than $50,000 in combined tax, penalties, and interest, the IRS offers a streamlined installment agreement. Under this option, you can request a payment plan of up to 72 months without the need for a financial statement, as long as you agree to direct debit payments.

Partial Payment Installment Agreement (PPIA): If you can’t afford the monthly payments under a standard installment agreement, you may be eligible for a PPIA. These plans are more flexible and may last longer than the standard 72 months.

Different Types of IRS payment plans

There are different IRS payment plans to cater to the diverse needs of taxpayers. The most common types of IRS payment plans include:
  • Short-term Payment Plans: For individual taxpayers who can pay the full amount within 120 days. No setup fee for online application.
  • Long-term Payment Plans (Installment Agreement):
    • Direct Debit: Monthly payments are automatically withdrawn from your bank account. A setup fee may apply but is generally lower than other methods.
    • Individual Payment: You send payments manually each month (e.g., via check, money order, credit card). A higher setup fee generally applies.
  • Partial Payment Installment Agreement (PPIA): For taxpayers who can’t pay the full debt, this agreement allows partial payments over time. You may need to provide financial evidence to qualify.
  • Payroll Deduction Agreement: Payments are automatically deducted from your payroll checks. Requires filling out Form 2159.
  • Non-Disclosure Installment Agreement: For taxpayers who have unique circumstances that don’t allow them to disclose full financial information.
  • Tiered Installment Agreement: Allows different monthly payment amounts over the term of the agreement.
  • Conditional Installment Agreement: For taxpayers who expect their financial situation to improve in the future, allowing them to make larger payments later.

Eligibility requirements for IRS payment plans

To qualify for IRS payment plans, taxpayers must meet certain eligibility requirements. These requirements vary depending on the type of IRS payment plan sought. For an installment agreement, taxpayers must: 1. Have filed all required tax returns 2. Owe $50,000 or less in combined tax, penalties, and interest 3. Agree to make monthly payments until the tax debt is fully paid

4. Continue to pay all future tax liabilities when they’re due

Pros and cons of IRS payment plans
IRS payment plans offer several benefits to taxpayers struggling with tax debt. Some of the advantages of entering into an IRS payment plan include: 1. Reduced financial burden: IRS payment plans allow taxpayers to pay off their tax debt in manageable monthly installments, reducing the financial burden of paying a lump sum. 2. Prevention of collection actions: By entering into an IRS payment plan, taxpayers can avoid more severe collection actions, such as wage garnishments, bank levies, or property seizures. 3. Improved credit score: Resolving tax debt through an IRS payment plan can help improve a taxpayer’s credit score over time, as it demonstrates a commitment to fulfilling financial obligations. However, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider when opting for an IRS payment plan: 1. Accrued penalties and interest: While an IRS payment plan allows taxpayers to pay off their tax debt over time, penalties and interest will continue to accrue until the debt is fully paid. This can result in a larger overall debt. 2. Restrictions and requirements: IRS payment plans come with certain restrictions and requirements that taxpayers must adhere to. Failure to comply with the terms of the plan can result in additional penalties and the termination of the agreement. 3. Potential impact on credit: While resolving tax debt through an IRS payment plan can have positive long-term effects on a taxpayer’s credit, it’s important to note that the initial installment agreement may be reported on their credit report.
Steps to resolve tax debt through an IRS payment plan
Resolving tax debt through an IRS payment plan involves several steps. By following these steps, you can increase your chances of successfully navigating the process: 1. Gather necessary documentation: Before applying for an IRS payment plan, gather all relevant documentation, including tax returns, financial statements, and any supporting documents that demonstrate your financial situation. 2. Determine the appropriate payment plan: Evaluate your financial situation and determine which IRS payment plan is most suitable for your needs. Consider factors such as the amount of tax debt, your ability to pay, and the potential impact on your financial well-being. 3. Submit the required forms: Depending on the payment plan you choose, you will need to submit the necessary forms to the IRS. This may include Form 9465 for an installment agreement, Form 656 for an offer in compromise, or Form 433-F for the currently not collectible status. 4. Present a compelling case: When applying for an IRS payment plan, it’s crucial to present a compelling case to the IRS. Clearly communicate your financial situation, provide supporting evidence, and explain why you are unable to pay the full tax debt. 5. Negotiate with the IRS: In some cases, it may be necessary to negotiate with the IRS to secure a favorable payment plan. Consider consulting with a tax professional who can advocate on your behalf and help you navigate the negotiation process. 6. Make timely payments: Once your IRS payment plan is approved, it’s essential to make all monthly payments on time. Failure to do so can result in additional penalties and the termination of the agreement.
Tips for navigating the IRS payment plan process
Navigating the IRS payment plan process can be complex and overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you navigate the process with confidence: 1. Seek professional guidance: Consider hiring a tax professional who specializes in IRS payment plans. They can provide expert advice, guide you through the process, and increase your chances of securing a favorable payment plan. 2. Stay organized: Keep all relevant documentation, forms, and correspondence in a well-organized manner. This will help you stay on top of the process and ensure that you have all necessary information readily available. 3. Be proactive: Take initiative and be proactive in resolving your tax debt. Respond to any IRS correspondence promptly, provide requested information in a timely manner, and make all required payments on time. 4. Communicate effectively: Clearly communicate your financial situation, hardships, and any relevant circumstances that may impact your ability to pay. The more effectively you can communicate your situation, the better your chances of securing a favorable payment plan. BOOK DISCOVERY CALL
Common mistakes to avoid when setting up an IRS payment plan
When setting up an IRS payment plan, it’s important to avoid common mistakes that can delay the process or lead to unfavorable outcomes. Here are some mistakes to avoid: 1. Failing to file tax returns: It’s crucial to file all required tax returns before applying for an IRS payment plan. Failure to do so can result in the rejection of your application. 2. Underestimating your ability to pay: When determining the amount you can afford to pay under an IRS payment plan, be realistic about your financial situation. Underestimating your ability to pay can result in an unaffordable payment plan, leading to potential default. 3. Ignoring IRS correspondence: Responding promptly to any IRS correspondence is essential. Ignoring or delaying your response can lead to penalties, additional fees, and potential collection actions. 4. Failing to seek professional advice: IRS payment plans can be complex, and the stakes are high. Failing to seek professional advice can result in costly mistakes and unfavorable outcomes.
Alternatives to IRS payment plans
While IRS payment plans offer a viable solution for resolving tax debt, there are also alternative options to consider. Some alternatives to IRS payment plans include: 1. Bankruptcy: In some cases, filing for bankruptcy may be a viable option for resolving tax debt. However, it’s important to consult with a bankruptcy attorney to understand the implications and determine if it’s the right course of action for your situation. 2. Offer in Compromise: As mentioned earlier, an offer in compromise allows taxpayers to settle their tax debt for less than the full amount owed. If you meet the eligibility requirements, this may be a favorable alternative to an IRS payment plan. 3. Penalty abatement: In certain circumstances, the IRS may grant penalty abatement, reducing or eliminating penalties associated with your tax debt. This option is typically available for taxpayers who can demonstrate reasonable cause for not paying their taxes or filing their returns on time. 4. Installment agreement with private lenders: If you are unable to secure an IRS payment plan, you may consider exploring installment agreements with private lenders. However, it’s important to carefully evaluate the terms and conditions of such agreements, as they may come with higher interest rates and fees.
Hiring a tax professional for assistance with IRS payment plans
Navigating the maze of IRS payment plans can be challenging, especially if you are unfamiliar with the process. Hiring a tax professional who specializes in IRS payment plans can provide you with expert guidance and significantly increase your chances of securing a favorable payment plan. A tax professional can analyze your financial situation, gather the necessary documentation, negotiate with the IRS on your behalf, and ensure that you are in compliance with the terms of your payment plan.
Conclusion: Taking control of your tax debt with an IRS payment plan
Resolving tax debt can be a daunting task, but with the right information and guidance, you can navigate the maze of IRS payment plans and regain control of your financial situation. By understanding the different types of payment plans available, knowing the eligibility requirements, and following the necessary steps, you can work towards a favorable resolution. Remember to seek professional advice, stay organized, and communicate effectively with the IRS throughout the process. With determination and perseverance, you can take control of your tax debt and pave the way to a brighter financial future.

Keith Jones

Founder | CPA, Tax Resolution Expert

Keith has found that almost every single person he deals with is not a tax cheat or deadbeat, but someone who is not able to pay their tax debt due to a financial hardship, often of their own accord. Usually, there is a sickness, tragic situation, job or business loss, or some other unfortunate circumstance that leaves them scared and not knowing where to turn.