Articles Posted in Offer In Compromise

Tax Court Rejects Proposed Offer in Compromise to Settle Possible Federal Tax Lien

Suddenly receiving a surprise tax bill in the mail is not something anyone looks forward to. However, taxpayers who face financial difficulties paying their back taxes may be able to settle the total amount due for less than the amount owed through the Offer in Compromise (OIC) program.

To be eligible for an OIC, a taxpayer must have filed all previous years’ tax returns and made all necessary estimated tax payments for the most recent tax year. Taxpayers who are currently involved in a bankruptcy proceeding are also ineligible for an OIC.

The new Offer In Compromise (OIC) program offers exciting opportunities for Taxpayers in distress that did not exist under the old OIC regime. On May 21, 2012 the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that it is expanding its Fresh Start program to include more favorable terms for the OIC program.  Often times the OIC is promoted by unscrupulous practitioners as a way to settle a tax debt for “Pennies On The Dollar!”  Unfortunately, this is not true for most Taxpayers.  Historically, the IRS has accepted roughly one-third of the OIC’s submitted.  However, because of the changes to the OIC program, the chances of a successful OIC have increased substantially.

The OIC is used to settle generally large tax debts for a reduced amount.  Typically, an OIC is not accepted where the IRS believes that full payment can be made in a lump sum or in an installment agreement.  In order to determine the settlement amount under an OIC or reasonable collection potential, the IRS follows established guidelines and procedure.  In the past the reasonable collection potential generally consisted of the fair market value of the Taxpayer’s assets plus forty-eight to sixty months of disposable income.  Under the new OIC rules, the Taxpayer must pay twelve months of disposable income for an OIC paid in five or fewer payments and twenty-four months of disposable income for an OIC paid in six to twenty-four months.  The new OIC rules still require that the reasonable collection potential include the fair market value of the Taxpayer’s assets.  Because of the reduction in the computation of disposable income in determining the reasonable collection potential, the new OIC can be used successfully by many Taxpayers where in the past the OIC would not have been an option. Continue reading

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