Kentucky taxpayers who want to settle IRS tax debt may be able to use an IRS tax settlement option. The United States federal government has given the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) the legal authority to collect federal taxes for a fraction of the full amount owed.
Kentucky taxpayers who fail to pay IRS tax debt may face wage garnishments, repossessions or bank account levies. IRS tax settlement options may allow a taxpayer to repay their debt and avoid debt collection. The Internal Revenue Service may be willing to negotiate with a Kentucky taxpayer to avoid declaring debt currently not collectible or agreeing to a protracted installment agreement.
Kentucky taxpayers who need information about IRS tax settlement options can contact a tax professional such as an enrolled agent, certified public accountant or tax attorney.
Offer in Compromise
Offer in Compromise is one type of IRS tax settlement option available for Kentucky taxpayers. Kentucky taxpayers can make an “offer” to the Internal Revenue Service to settle their IRS tax debt. If the Internal Revenue Service agrees to the compromise amount and all of the requirements of the Offer in Compromise are met, the federal tax debt will be considered settled. Under certain conditions, the Internal Revenue Service may be willing to accept less than the total amount of federal tax owed.
Approximately 80% of first time Offer in Compromises are declined by the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS may be willing to continue negotiations with Kentucky taxpayers to find an amount which is agreeable to the federal government and the taxpayer. Offer in Compromise can be time consuming, expensive and complicated. The IRS will request a substantial amount of financial data to process the Offer in Compromise agreement and if the OIC is denied, the Internal Revenue Service can use this information to continue their debt collection efforts.
Qualifying for Offer in Compromise
Not all Kentucky taxpayers with IRS tax debt will be able to qualify for an Offer in Compromise. Offer in Compromise may be accepted by the Internal Revenue Service for the following reasons:
- Doubt as to Liability- Kentucky residents may have questions about the amount of tax liability they have been assessed. If the IRS agrees, they may be willing to grant an Offer in Compromise. This condition is not frequently met.
- Doubt as to Collectibility- The Internal Revenue Service may accept an Offer in Compromise if they believe they will not be able to collect federal tax debt. This is not the same as the first condition in that the amount of tax debt owed is not in question, only the ability of the IRS to collect the tax debt.
- Effective Tax Administration- Kentucky taxpayers who believe they will experience “an economic hardship which is unfair and inequitable” if they pay their IRS tax debt may qualify for an Offer in Compromise. This condition is most frequently met for the elderly and the handicapped.
Kentucky taxpayers applying for an OIC must also complete the following:
- Kentucky taxpayers will have to pay all of their future IRS tax debt on or before the federal tax deadline for the next 5 years.
- All the Offer in Compromise requirements must be completed by the Kentucky taxpayer.
- Kentucky taxpayers must fill out and complete all of their Internal Revenue Service tax returns by the federal tax deadline.
The most popular method used by taxpayers to settle IRS tax debt is the installment agreement. With an Installment Agreement or IA the IRS can make monthly installment payments to repay federal tax debt. Kentucky taxpayers with tax debt of $25,000 or less can generally get an installment agreement and repay their debt over 60 months. Kentucky taxpayers who owe more than $25,000 should talk to a tax professional that has the expertise to negotiate the best installment agreement possible. Penalties and interest will accrue for the entire duration of the installment agreement. Paying all federal tax debt in one lump sum is always less expensive than an installment agreement.
The Internal Revenue Service can revoke an installment agreement for any of the following reasons:
- If the Kentucky taxpayer fails to pay the monthly tax payments or file tax returns.
- If the Kentucky taxpayer pays less than the agreed upon monthly payment amount. First time violators may be granted a 30-60 day grace period.
- If a Kentucky taxpayer’s financial condition improves.
- If a Kentucky taxpayer provides false or inaccurate tax information to the IRS during the installment agreement application process.
Kentucky taxpayers who are considering an installment agreement must meet the following requirements:
- All self-employed Kentucky taxpayers must file quarterly IRS tax returns and make quarterly estimated federal tax payments.
- Kentucky taxpayers must submit all federal tax returns.
- Kentucky taxpayers must pay their IRS tax debt for the 5 years before the tax liability which can not be paid.
- Kentucky taxpayers can not have made another installment agreement with the Internal Revenue Service with in the last 5 years.
- The IRS will perform a review of the Kentucky taxpayer’s financial situation every two years.
Partial Payment Installment Agreement
Kentucky taxpayers who do not qualify for an Offer in Compromise or who can not pay their full amount of tax debt may be able use a partial payment installment agreement or PPIA. Partial payment installment agreements differ from an installment agreement by allowing the Kentucky taxpayer to repay their tax debt with partial monthly payments. Any debt which is not paid will be forgiven by the IRS.
Partial payment installment agreements can be less complicated, less expensive and less time consuming that an OIC agreement. Penalties and interest will continue to accrue during the PPIA period, but the IRS will stop their collection actions such as wage garnishments and bank account levies. The partial payment installment agreement will be reviewed by the Internal Revenue Service every two years and if the Kentucky taxpayer’s financial situation improves the PPIA payments may be increased or the plan may be terminated. It is always more cost effective to pay all IRS tax debt with one lump sum payment.
Currently Not Collectible
Tax debt not paid by the Kentucky taxpayer may be determined “currently not collectible”. Currently not collectible will stop all Internal Revenue Service collection tactics such as tax levies and wage garnishments. Notice will be sent each year to the Kentucky taxpayer outlining tax debt owed. This notice is not considered a tax bill. The expiration for the Internal Revenue Service to try and collect the tax debt is ten years.
The Internal Revenue Service may assess the Kentucky taxpayer penalties for a variety of tax infractions including but not limited to: failure to file a federal tax return, requesting a false refund or reporting inaccurate tax data. The Internal Revenue Service may be willing to abate or reduce a tax penalty if the Kentucky taxpayer can provide a valid reason for the abatement. Valid reasons may include: personal duress, environmental disasters, inaccurate tax professional filings or failing physical health. The Internal Revenue Service may not be willing to dismiss or lower all penalties.