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Understanding IRS Tax Settlement Options

Dealing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can be a taxing experience, no pun intended. For taxpayers facing financial difficulties, the burden of taxes owed, penalties, and interest charges can seem overwhelming. But, there’s some good news. The IRS offers several options for people struggling to pay their taxes, one of which might be the perfect solution for your situation. In this article, we’ll explore the four main IRS tax settlement options and help you understand which one might be the best fit for you and your financial situation.

  1. Installment Agreements: 

An installment agreement is a payment plan that allows taxpayers to pay off their tax debt in monthly installments over a period of several years. This is a popular option for individuals and businesses that legitimately owe the IRS but are unable to fully pay off their tax debt upfront. This agreement works similarly to a loan payment plan, and the IRS will charge interest and penalties on the unpaid balance.

  1. Offer in Compromise:

An offer in compromise (OIC) is a settlement agreement between taxpayers and the IRS that allows them to pay less than the full amount of taxes owed. This option is available to taxpayers who are unable to pay all of their taxes due, even after they have exhausted all other payment options. An OIC can be a great way to reduce your tax debt, but the qualifications for this option can be harsh, and there’s no guarantee that your offer will be accepted.

  1. Currently Not Collectible Status:

If you’re genuinely unable to pay your tax debt, you may be granted currently not collectible (CNC) status. This is a short-term reprieve from collection activities, including wage garnishments, bank levies, and seizure of assets. However, it is important to note that you will still accrue interest and penalties on your outstanding tax debt. This option is ideal for taxpayers who are experiencing significant financial hardship with no feasible way to pay their tax debt.

  1. Bankruptcy:

Bankruptcy is a last resort for those who are unable to pay their tax debt. While most tax debts cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, there are some rare circumstances that allow for it. If you’re struggling with significant amounts of tax debt, this option should only be considered after consulting with a tax professional, bankruptcy attorney, or both.


In conclusion, understand the IRS tax settlement options can be the key to resolving your financial difficulties. It’s essential to learn the pros and cons of each option, so you can see which one might best fit your needs. Remember, the IRS works with taxpayers to settle their debts, but you’ll have to make a viable effort to demonstrate your financial need and willingness to come to an agreement. By taking advantage of these IRS tax settlement options, you can take control of your financial situation and move towards a more stable and prosperous future without the burden of unpaid taxes.