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Published: October 21, 2020   |   Last Updated: July 21, 2022

Partial Payment Installment Agreement

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Station Overview

Installment agreements are one of your options if you can’t pay your taxes in full when they’re due. These agreements are payment plans that allow you to pay your debt over a time you establish with the IRS. You must stay current with monthly payments, timely file your tax returns, and make estimated tax payments. Future refunds will be applied to unpaid taxes until the tax balance is paid in full.

There are several types of installment agreements:

  • Installment Agreements: Guaranteed, Streamlined and Routine; and
  • Partial Payment Installment Agreements.

What does this mean to me?

You have a balance on your tax account and you may have chosen to pay the balance via monthly payments to the IRS. This letter or notice may be confirming that your requested installment agreement has been accepted or reminding you to make your monthly payment. The letter or notice could also be stating that your proposed installment agreement was rejected, stating you defaulted on a current installment agreement, or requesting updated financial information. It is important that you carefully read the letter or notice you received so you can respond accordingly, or call the phone number on the notice or letter immediately if you have questions. For specifics, see Installment Agreements and Additional Information on Payment Plans.

How did I get here?

You have a balance on your tax account and you may have chosen to pay the balance via monthly payments to the IRS. In doing so, you have agreed to stay current with all monthly payments, filing of tax returns, and estimated tax payments. Also, you understand that future refunds will be applied to unpaid taxes until the tax balance is paid in full.

What are my next steps?


Is it from the IRS?

If it’s from the IRS, the notice will have instructions on how to respond. If you want more details about your tax account, you can order a transcript. Also, review your notice or letter to see if there is a specific website link to visit for additional information. This is usually located at the end of the notice or letter.

If it’s from another agency, such as a state tax department, you’ll need to call that office for an explanation.


Before you consider an installment agreement

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.


Before you request an installment agreement

  • File all required tax returns (even if you can’t pay); and
  • Review your bills to figure out how much you can afford to pay the IRS each month.

The IRS will only agree to an installment agreement if you’ve filed all your returns. Once you’ve entered into an agreement, you’ll have to pay all future taxes on-time or your agreement may default.

You may wish to consider other resources before setting up an installment agreement. Can you borrow from a financial institution or a family member to pay the balance? If so, it will probably cost you less money since the IRS charges you interest even though you’re on a payment plan. You may also avoid some penalties and associated interest, by paying the IRS sooner. Compare the costs for your situation.

Where can I get additional help?

Get Help topics

Browse common tax issues and situations at TAS Get Help

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 Forms & Letters

  • Letter 2273C, Installment Agreement (IA) Accepted; Terms Explained
  • Notice CP 522, Request for Updated Financial Information to Review Your Partial Pay Installment Agreement (PPIA) Understanding your CP522 Notice 
  • Notice CP 522P, You Must Call Us to Discuss Your Installment Agreement – Request for Financial Information

Where am I in the Tax System?

Partial Payment Installment Agreement

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