Review the tax debt to be sure you owe it:
If you don’t believe you owe the tax, now is the time to talk to the IRS about it. If you’ve received an IRS notice, start by calling the number on the notice to discuss the amount you owe.
Determine what type of Payment Plan may be best for your financial situation:
Short-Term Payment Plan
You can full pay your tax debt within 180 days. You can request a Short-Term Payment Plan by phone, mail, in-person, or online. There is no fee charged.
Long-term payment plans, also known as Installment Agreements
There are several different options available depending on how much you owe and what type of tax. The following Installment Agreements options are available:
Guaranteed Installment Agreements
You have the right to an agreement without submitting a financial statement if:
- The amount of tax you owe (not counting interest and penalties) is less than $10,000.
- You (and your spouse, if you filed a joint tax return) have filed and paid all taxes due for the last five years.
- Neither you (nor your spouse, if you filed jointly) have had an installment agreement with the IRS in the previous five years.
- You can pay the full amount you owe within three years.
- You agree to pay the liability before the period for collecting the tax expires.
- You comply with the tax laws during the agreement.
Streamlined Installment Agreements
There are two types of Streamlined Installment Agreements, depending on how much you owe and for what type of tax. For both types, you must pay the debt in full within 72 months (six years), and within the time limit for the IRS to collect the tax, but you won’t need to submit a financial statement.
1.) Assessed tax balance under $25,000 (include all assessed tax, penalty and interest in computing the balance due).
This is available to:
- Businesses that are still operating and only owe Form 1120 income tax or Form 1065 late filing penalties; and
- Businesses that have gone out of business that owe any type of tax.
2.) Assessed tax balance from $25,001 to $50,000 (include all assessed tax, penalty and interest in computing the balance due).
This is available to:
- Individuals; and
- Out-of-business sole proprietors.
Note: To get this type of agreement where the balance due is $25,001-$50,000, you must pay through either a direct debit or payroll deduction agreement.
Partial Pay Agreements
In this situation, you must have some ability to pay toward your tax debt but can’t pay in full within the remaining time the IRS has to collect. The IRS may allow you to make payments until the collection period expires.
You will need to provide financial information to have this type of agreement established. In addition, your financial situation will be evaluated every 2-years thereafter until the collection period expires or the tax debt is full paid, whichever is earlier.
Contact the IRS at 800-829-1040 (TTY/TDD 800-829-4059) or the number on the notice to discuss this option. If you’re in this situation, you might also want to consider submitting an Offer in Compromise to settle your taxes instead of an installment agreement.
In-Business Trust Fund Express Agreement
An In-Business Trust Fund Express agreement may be available for businesses that owe up to $25,000. You must pay the debt in full in 24 months or before the collection period expires, whichever is earlier. You can also pay down the liability to $25,000 or less and then apply.
Routine Installment Agreements (all other Installment Agreements)
If you don’t meet criteria for guaranteed, streamlined, or in-business trust fund express installment agreements, you can still request an installment agreement from the IRS.
You can request a routine installment agreement by mail or by calling the IRS, but you cannot apply online.
Documentation: The IRS may ask you for supporting documents for your income, expenses, and other amounts you owe (For example: Home and car loan payments, other obligations.) to determine your allowable monthly expenses and arrive at the appropriate monthly payment. If you feel you should be allowed more than the standard amount, provide reasoning with your application.
The Six Year Rule: Generally, if you only owe individual income tax, and you do not qualify for a streamlined installment agreement, you may qualify for the Six (6) Year Rule. You will need to provide financial information, but all your expenses may be allowed (not only the IRS standard allowances). You must stay current with all filing and payment requirements and fully pay through installments in six years (72 months) and within the collection statute – the time the IRS has to collect the amount you owe.
The One Year Rule: If you can’t pay your debt in full within six years, you may be given up to one year to modify or eliminate excessive necessary expenses. By modifying or eliminating these expenses, you may be able to pay the liability, plus accrued interest and penalties, within the six-year limit.
If none of these options seems to fit your circumstances, you can call the IRS and discuss your situation.
The initial fee for setting up an installment agreement varies depending on the payment method you choose. These fees are subject to change and are listed on the IRS Payment Plans page.
If you believe that you meet the requirements for low income taxpayer status, but the IRS did not identify you as a low-income taxpayer, please review Form 13844: Application for Reduced User Fee for Installment Agreements for guidance. Applicants should submit the form to the IRS within 30 days from the date of their installment agreement acceptance letter to request the IRS to reconsider their status.
Internal Revenue Service
PO Box 219236, Stop 5050
Kansas City, MO 64121-9236