Unlocking the Secrets of an Offer in Compromise: A Comprehensive Guide - Chapter 4

 

Chapter 4 – Filing Details/Payment Terms/Important Consequences


IRS FORM 656 – OFFER IN COMPROMISE

Use IRS form 656, Offer in Compromise to submit your offer. You can access the form via this link.  Be sure to read the accompanying booklet.

Note that there are different forms of Form 433, Collection Information Statement, that are a part of the submission process. Form 433-A is for use by Wage Earners and Self-Employed Individuals. Form 433-B is used by Businesses.

Also note that there is a specific form, 656-L, for use if you are claiming doubt as to liability.

The IRS site also has a pre-qualifier tool. But don’t get too upset if it reports that you are not eligible. The tool does not take into account any special circumstances or other issues that may be relevant to your situation. Please refer back to this section of my Blog for a more detailed discussion of this issue.

 

Who Can File An Offer?

An Offer in Compromise (OIC) can be filed by any individual or business taxpayer who owes a federal tax debt to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Eligibility to file an OIC depends on the taxpayer must being  current on all filing and payment requirements, including filing all required tax returns and making all required estimated tax payments. The taxpayer must also submit all required financial information to the IRS to support their offer.

  

Where To Submit Your Offer?

The IRS maintains two centers that process Offer in Compromise applications:

If you reside in AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, KY, MS, NM, NV, OK, OR, TN, TX, UT, WA you will send your OIC to:

 Memphis IRS Center COIC Unit

PO Box 30803, AMC

Memphis, TN 38130-0803

  

If you reside in AK, AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN,KS, LA,MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, PR, RI SC, SD, VA, VT, WI, WV, WY or a foreign address, you will send your OIC to:

 

Brookhaven IRS Center COIC Unit

PO Box 9007

Holtsville, NY 11742-9007

 

Terms of Payment

An OIC has two basic payment choices, a Lump Sum (Cash) payment and a Periodic Payment option.

The Lump Sum (Cash) payment requires a 20% down payment, with the balance paid in five or fewer months.

The Periodic Payment requires your first monthly payment with the offer, and the total amount paid within 24 months. You must continue to make your proposed monthly payment while the IRS analyzes your offer. If you fail to make your payments your offer will rejected. The IRS will apply all payments made to your tax debt. You can avoid the requirement of making monthly payments during the review process if you mee the Low Income Certification guidelines.

 

Application Fee

Each offer requires an application fee of $205.00, which is not applied to your tax debt. You may avoid the fee if you qualify under the Low Income Certification guidelines.

 

 Important Consequences

 of Filing an Offer in Compromise


Waiver of Taxpayer’s claims for Refunds or Credits

Filing an Offer in Compromise (OIC) does not necessarily waive a taxpayer's right to refund claims. An OIC is a way for a taxpayer to settle their tax debt with the government for less than the full amount owed. The taxpayer can still file a claim for a refund for any overpaid taxes for open tax years during the period in which the OIC is being considered by the government. However, if the OIC is accepted and the taxpayer receives a settlement, they may be required to waive their right to a refund for the tax years included in the settlement. This will be specified in the agreement reached between the taxpayer and the government.

It is important to carefully consider the terms and conditions of an OIC before submitting it, as it can have significant implications for a taxpayer's financial and legal obligations. Taxpayers are advised to seek the assistance of a tax professional to help them understand the process and the potential impact on their refund rights.

 

 Forfeiture of Option to File a Joint Return

Filing an Offer in Compromise (OIC) does not necessarily forfeit a taxpayer's option to file a joint return. An OIC is a way for a taxpayer to settle their tax debt with the government for less than the full amount owed, but it does not affect a taxpayer's ability to file a joint tax return with their spouse.

 However, if the OIC is accepted and the taxpayer receives a settlement, they may be required to agree to certain terms and conditions, such as waiving their right to claim certain tax benefits or to file a joint return for a specified period of time. These terms and conditions will be specified in the agreement reached between the taxpayer and the government.

 It is important to carefully consider the terms and conditions of an OIC before submitting it, as it can have significant implications for a taxpayer's financial and legal obligations. Taxpayers are advised to seek the assistance of a tax professional to help them understand the process and the potential impact on their ability to file a joint tax return.

 Deemed Acceptance Rule

The deemed acceptance rule of an Offer in Compromise (OIC) is a provision under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) that allows the government to consider an OIC to be accepted if the government does not respond to the taxpayer's offer within a certain period of time.

 The deemed acceptance rule applies if the government does not make a determination on the OIC within two years of the date the offer was submitted, or within one year of the date the offer was last revised, whichever is later. In such cases, the OIC is considered to be accepted by the government and the taxpayer is required to make payments and comply with the terms and conditions of the offer.

 It is important to note that the deemed acceptance rule applies only if the government does not make a determination on the OIC. If the government makes a determination to reject or counter the offer, the deemed acceptance rule does not apply.

 Taxpayers should be aware of the deemed acceptance rule when submitting an OIC and should seek the assistance of a tax professional to help them understand the process and the potential implications.


 OIC Before/During Bankruptcy

 Bankruptcy in and of itself is an extremely complicated process. Submitting an Offer in Compromise during a bankruptcy proceeding, or even contemplating it prior to filing bankruptcy can have the following implications:

 

           Acceptance: If the Offer in Compromise is accepted, the debt owed by the debtor can be reduced and the bankruptcy proceedings may be concluded more quickly.

 

           Rejection: If the Offer in Compromise is rejected, the debtor may need to consider other options for resolving the debt, such as a payment plan or negotiating a settlement.

 

           Delay: The submission of an Offer in Compromise can delay the bankruptcy proceedings while the offer is being considered and evaluated by the court.

 

It is important to note that the acceptance of an Offer in Compromise during a bankruptcy proceeding depends on a number of factors, including the amount of the offer, the financial condition of the debtor, and the priorities of the creditors. It is recommended that you, the taxpayer/debtor seek the assistance of a bankruptcy attorney and your Enrolled Agent to help navigate the process and ensure that your rights are protected. This is an extremely complicated processes and extreme care must be paid to both the tax considerations and the bankruptcy considerations in this case.


You Agree to Stay Compliant for Five Years

Implicit in the acceptance of your offer is that you will comply with the filing requirements and payment requirements for five years after acceptance. This means if you fail to pay enough in year four, all your efforts will have been wasted and the IRS will reinstate the amount of taxes you owed when you filed your OIC. For example, if you had $30,000 in taxes forgiven as a result of a successful offer, failure to pay in year four will mean that the $30,000 gets added back to your balance. Don't let this provision trip you up!

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