Behind In Your Tax Debt to the IRS? Try Negotiating

Tax Debt; Negotiating

Tax Debt to the IRS? Try Negotiating

Do you remember that part in the movie A Christmas Story where Ralphie, as the narrator, proclaims in reference to his father: “The old man loved bargaining as much as an Arab trader…and he was twice as shrewd”? Well, if you enjoy a good bargain or barter, then this might be the news you want to hear. While some people would avoid contacting the IRS at all cost, there are others who are always ready for a challenge, especially if some good old bartering is involved.

Let’s Make a Deal

So what if you find yourself on the wrong side of the IRS’s account? Do you owe the IRS money? Is your account delinquent? Well, it just so happens that those bartering skills could come in handy for you. The IRS is no pushover, by any means, but if you play your cards right, then you could find yourself walking away with a settlement that could be much easier to pay off.

Offer In Compromise

While it’s best to avoid getting behind in your taxes, if you’ve reached that point and it appears that there is no end in sight then you can always plead your case and ask for leniency. That’s because the IRS has set up a program called “offer in compromise.” This program assists delinquent taxpayers by setting up payment plans designed to make paying off tax debt easier. If you as the taxpayer can prove that you don’t have the ability to pay off your debt then you might be able to convince the IRS that you need help. You will have to make the tax agency an offer and they can either accept it or reject it.

There Are Positive Signs

While the paperwork can be a real burden to fill out, the good news is that the IRS appears to have become a lot more accommodating in recent years. In 2010, the federal tax agency only accepted about 25 percent of the offers they received from people who owed back taxes. However, just three years later, in 2013, that number had jumped all the way to 42 percent. Therefore, if you can survive the paperwork, then you’re chances of getting the IRS to compromise in your favor appear to have improved significantly.

The Waiting Game

One thing that you must show as a delinquent taxpayer is that you are unable to pay your bill because you simply do not have the funds. However, as with many things associated with the IRS, it can take a long time to receive a reply. In fact, the agency has up to two years to respond, which can be excruciating for the applicant. However, if they fail to respond after 24 months, then the offer is automatically accepted. In many cases, the IRS wants to wait and see if your financial situation improves over time and thus enables you to pay off the full debt.

Need Help Applying

If you owe back taxes and you can prove that you don’t have the financial means to pay off your debt, then now might be a good time to meet with us so we can help you prepare an “offer in compromise” for the IRS. We can help you make the right offer and improve your chances of acceptance. So give us a call at 1-877-CPA-2006 or click here to contact us.


We hope you found this article about “Behind In Your Tax Debt to the IRS? Try Negotiating” helpful.  If you have questions or need expert tax or family office advice that’s refreshingly objective (we never sell investments), please contact us or visit our Family office page  or our website at  Unfortunately, we no longer give advice to other tax professionals gratis.

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Alan Olsen, CPA

Alan Olsen, is the Host of the American Dreams Show and the Managing Partner of  GROCO is a premier family office and tax advisory firm located in the San Francisco Bay area serving clients all over the world.


Alan L. Olsen, CPA, Wikipedia Bio is a proud sponsor of The American Dreams Show.



The American Dreams show was the brainchild of Alan Olsen, CPA, MBA. It was originally created to fill a specific need; often inexperienced entrepreneurs lacked basic information about raising capital and how to successfully start a business.

Alan sincerely wanted to respond to the many requests from aspiring entrepreneurs asking for the information and introductions they needed. But he had to find a way to help in which his venture capital clients and friends would not mind.

The American Dreams show became the solution, first as a radio show and now with YouTube videos as well. Always respectful of interview guest’s time, he’s able to give access to individuals information and inspiration previously inaccessible to the first-time entrepreneurs who need it most.

They can listen to venture capitalists and successful business people explain first-hand, how they got to where they are, how to start a company, how to overcome challenges, how they see the future evolving, opportunities, work-life balance and so much more..

American Dreams discusses many topics from some of the world’s most successful individuals about their secrets to life’s success. Topics from guest have included:

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