The Offer in Compromise (OIC) is often considered the ultimate form of tax relief. If you are considering an OIC to address your outstanding IRS tax debt, there are a few things you should know.
First, not everyone with a tax debt should attempt an OIC. The OIC is a special program generally reserved for low-income taxpayers with few assets. The OIC filing fee is $150 and the IRS also requires that you pay 20% of your offer amount up front when the offer is filed. Unless you are confident that the offer is going to be accepted, you may be better off saving yourself these fees.
Second, not everybody who meets the criteria for the OIC should file an OIC. Basically, it just has to make good sense. For example, the offer amount must be low enough in comparison to the overall tax debt. Also, if the balances you owe are old and about to expire, you may be in a situation where it would make more sense to “wait out” the statute of limitations rather than make an offer to the IRS.
Third, a tax attorney can maximize your chances of filing a successful Offer in Compromise. An experienced tax attorney will help you determine if the OIC is right for you and if it makes sense to file. An experienced tax attorney has the skills needed to present your financial information in a manner that is most advantageous to you.