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Published:   |   Last Updated: October 17, 2023

Collection Alternatives Station

View our interactive tax map to see where you are in the tax process. It could help you navigate your way through the IRS.

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Station Overview

You have a balance due on your account and/or missing returns. You can work with the IRS to resolve these issues.

This notice or letter may include additional topics that have not yet been covered here. Please check back frequently for updates.


What does this mean to me?

You have a balance due on your account and/or missing returns. You can work with the IRS to resolve these issues.

How did I get here?

You received a notice or letter from the IRS regarding a tax balance you owe or an unfiled return.

What are my next steps?

You should file any unfiled returns to avoid additional penalty an interest. You can work with the IRS to resolve your balance due accounts through various collection alternatives, including an installment agreement or an offer in compromise. Depending on your financial circumstances, you may qualify to have your tax account placed in currently not collectible status or for relief from levies or liens. Below are three examples of collection alternatives:

  • You responded to IRS Notice CP501, Individual (IMF) Balance Due- First Notice, and paid the balance due via electronic payment options on IRS.gov’s – Paying Your Taxes or via check or money order payable to the United States Treasury.
  • You respond to IRS Letter 16, ACS Letter: Please Call Us About Your Overdue Taxes Or Tax Return, by speaking with an Automated Collection System (ACS) representative to set-up an installment agreement.
  • You respond to IRS Letter 1058, Final Notice – Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to a Hearing, by speaking and working with the Revenue Officer who issued Letter 1058. After review of financial information received, the Revenue Officer determines that you are financially unable to pay the outstanding liability at this time and places your tax account in currently not collectible.

Where can I get additional help?

Understanding your notice or letter

Get Help topics

If you still need help

The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers and protects taxpayers’ rights. We can offer you help if your tax problem is causing a financial difficulty, you’ve tried and been unable to resolve your issue with the IRS, or you believe an IRS system, process, or procedure just isn’t working as it should. If you qualify for our assistance, which is always free, we will do everything possible to help you.

Visit www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov or call 1-877-777-4778.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) are independent from the IRS and TAS. LITCs represent individuals whose income is below a certain level and who need to resolve tax problems with the IRS. LITCs can represent taxpayers in audits, appeals, and tax collection disputes before the IRS and in court. In addition, LITCs can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. Services are offered for free or a small fee. For more information or to find an LITC near you, see the LITC page on the TAS website or Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List.

Related Notices/Letters

  • Letter 3171, Notice of Federal Tax Lien Additional Filing,
  • Letter 3886, Notice of Special Condition NFTL Filing – Taxpayer,
  • Letter 3177, Special Condition Notice of Federal Tax Lien Filing – Third Party,
  • Letter 4052, Rejection of Proposed Installment Agreement,
  • Letter 2272-C, Installment Agreement Cannot be Considered/Extension to Pay Cannot be Considered,
  • Letter 5259, Notice of Installment Agreement Modification,
  • Letter 2975, Notice of Defaulted Installment Agreement Under IRC 6159(b),
  • CP 523, Default on Your Installment Agreement (IA) Notice – Intent to Terminate Your IA,
  • Letter 5603, Response to Certificate of Non-Attachment Request,
  • Letter 4025, Letter Advising of Action on Application for Discharge of Property From Federal Tax Lien,
  • Letter 4027, Advising of Action on Application for Subordination of Federal Tax Lien,
  • Letter 4711, Withdrawal Decision,
  • Letter 3975, Rejection of Request for Return of Levied Property,
  • Letter 3174, New Warning of Enforcement,
  • Letter 5603, Response to Certificate of Non-Attachment Request, and
  • Letter 1058, Final Notice Reply Within 30 Days

This list is not all inclusive.