What is the IRS offer-in-compromise program? An offer-in-compromise, or OIC, is a contract between the IRS and a taxpayer that settles back taxes for less than the total amount due. Similar to installment agreements and other IRS tax relief programs, taxpayers need to meet stringent compliance and collectibility requirements in order to qualify.
Before the IRS can begin to review a tax settlement request, business and individual taxpayers must have filed all required tax returns and be up-to-date with income tax withholding or payroll deposits. In general, it is common for the IRS to only accept an offer-in-compromise if the agency feels it can collect more from a taxpayer through a tax settlement than traditional tax resolution alternatives such as an installment agreement.
The IRS expanded the tax settlement initiative in May of 2012 as part of its Fresh Start program. The agency now determines if a taxpayer qualifies for a tax settlement by using calculation methods that are more favorable for taxpayers. For example, to determine the amount needed to make a “cash offer”, the IRS now uses a 12 month calculation compared to 48 months, as used before. The IRS also now allows taxpayers to include additional monthly expenses in the tax settlement calculation, such as credit card payments, student loan payments, as well as state payments for back taxes, among other expenses.
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