What Is The Process Of Offer In Compromise

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a government agency responsible for collecting taxes and enforcing tax laws. At times, taxpayers may find themselves in situations where they are unable to pay their full tax liability due to financial hardships or other reasons. In such cases, the IRS offers a program called Offer in Compromise (OIC).

This program allows eligible taxpayers to settle their tax debts for less than the full amount owed, providing them with a fresh start and an opportunity to regain compliance with the tax system.


  • 1. Offer in Compromise (OIC) is a program that allows eligible taxpayers to settle their tax debts for less than the full amount owed.
  • 2. Determining eligibility for OIC involves an assessment of the taxpayer’s financial situation, including income, expenses, assets, and future earning potential.
  • 3. Calculating an accurate offer amount for OIC is crucial and requires considering factors such as disposable income, asset equity, and reasonable collection potential (RCP).
  • 4. The OIC process can take anywhere from 6 to 24 months to complete, and taxpayers have the right to appeal the decision if their offer is rejected by the IRS.
  • 5. An accepted OIC can potentially impact a taxpayer’s credit score and future ability to obtain loans, depending on its effect on their credit report.

So, what exactly is the process of Offer in Compromise? To put it simply, it is a negotiation between a taxpayer and the IRS to agree upon a reduced amount that will be accepted as payment for outstanding taxes.

This process can be quite complex and requires detailed information about the taxpayer's finances, including income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. It is essential for individuals considering this option to have a clear understanding of how the OIC works and what steps they need to take to successfully negotiate with the IRS.

The following article aims to provide an engaging overview of the Offer in Compromise process while keeping things simple enough for readers at all levels of comprehension.

Determining Eligibility For Oic

Determining eligibility for an Offer in Compromise (OIC) is a crucial initial step in the process of resolving tax debt. OIC refers to an agreement between the taxpayer and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that allows the taxpayer to settle their tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed. Eligibility for OIC depends on various factors, such as financial status, ability to pay, and compliance with tax laws.

To assess whether a taxpayer qualifies for OIC, the IRS considers their unique circumstances by evaluating their income, assets, expenses, and future earning potential. The agency aims to ensure that taxpayers only pay what they can realistically afford without causing undue financial hardship.

Furthermore, taxpayers must be current with all filing and payment requirements to be considered eligible for OIC.

Before submitting an OIC application, it is advisable to use the IRS's Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier tool available online. This tool assists taxpayers in determining if they meet the necessary criteria and provides an estimated offer amount based on their financial information. Upon establishing eligibility for OIC, taxpayers should proceed with gathering essential financial documentation required for the application process.

Gathering Financial Documentation

Gathering tax records is an important part of the offer in compromise process. This may include obtaining copies of past returns and other documents related to taxes.

Collecting financial statements is also necessary when preparing an offer in compromise. This can include income statements, bank statements, and other documents that show the financial situation.

Gathering Tax Records

Imagine a mountain of financial documents that need to be sorted, analyzed, and properly filed for an Offer in Compromise application.

This process begins with the critical task of gathering tax records. Every taxpayer must collect relevant financial documents such as income statements, bank account details, and asset information to paint an accurate picture of their current financial situation.

Ensuring that all tax records are complete and up-to-date is essential for a successful Offer in Compromise submission.

In this exciting journey of organizing one's finances, it is important not to overlook any crucial documents or pertinent details, as these can play a significant role in determining the outcome of the Offer in Compromise agreement.

Collecting Financial Statements

Transitioning from gathering tax records, the next essential step in preparing an Offer in Compromise application is collecting financial statements.

This process involves obtaining vital documents such as income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements to effectively analyze one's financial health.

These financial statements provide a comprehensive view of an individual's or business's economic standing, allowing for a thorough evaluation of their ability to pay outstanding tax liabilities.

They serve as the foundation for determining whether an Offer in Compromise is feasible and beneficial for both the taxpayer and the Internal Revenue Service.

By diligently assembling these critical documents, taxpayers can significantly increase their chances of successfully negotiating a favorable settlement with the IRS.

Calculating The Offer Amount

An essential aspect of the offer in compromise (OIC) process is accurately calculating the offer amount, which is the sum that a taxpayer proposes to pay to settle their tax debt. This crucial step requires a thorough evaluation of one's financial situation to determine an appropriate and reasonable amount that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) might accept.

By carefully considering various factors such as income, expenses, assets, and liabilities, taxpayers can increase their chances of having their OIC accepted and successfully resolving their tax debts.

To calculate an accurate offer amount, taxpayers should take into account the following aspects:

  • Monthly disposable income: The difference between their total monthly income and allowable monthly expenses

  • Asset equity: The value of assets owned by the taxpayer after deducting any outstanding loans or mortgages

  • Future income potential: The ability of the taxpayer to earn money in the coming years

  • Reasonable collection potential (RCP): The estimated amount that the IRS can collect from a taxpayer over time through enforced collection actions

  • Special circumstances: Any unique situations or hardships that may impact a taxpayer's ability to pay their tax debt

After considering these factors and determining an appropriate offer amount, it is crucial for taxpayers to ensure they have properly documented and substantiated all relevant financial information. This documentation will provide evidence to support their OIC application and help demonstrate to the IRS why accepting their proposed settlement is in both parties' best interests.

Taxpayers should also be prepared for possible negotiations with the IRS, as they may need to adjust their initial offer based on feedback from this federal agency.

Calculating an accurate offer amount is vital when pursuing an offer in compromise as it can significantly impact whether or not it gets approved by the IRS. By carefully assessing one's financial situation and taking into account various factors such as disposable income, asset equity, future earning potential, RCP, and special circumstances, taxpayers can put forth a well-prepared OIC application.

Negotiation between a taxpayer and the IRS to agree upon a reduced amount that will be accepted as payment for outstanding taxes.

After determining the appropriate offer amount, the next step in the process involves submitting the OIC application to the IRS for consideration.

Submitting The Oic Application

Having determined the appropriate offer amount, it is now time to proceed with the submission of the Offer in Compromise (OIC) application. This stage is crucial, as it involves presenting a well-prepared case to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for consideration. The objective is to convince the IRS that accepting the taxpayer's offer would be in their best interest, given their financial situation.

To submit an OIC application, taxpayers must complete and submit Form 656, Offer in Compromise, along with Form 433-A (OIC) or Form 433-B (OIC), depending on whether they are individuals or businesses. These forms require detailed information about the taxpayer's financial situation, including income, expenses, assets, and liabilities.

Additionally, a non-refundable application fee and initial payment must accompany the application. It is essential to provide accurate and complete information on these forms to avoid delays or rejection of the OIC request.

Once submitted, the IRS will review and evaluate the application based on factors such as reasonable collection potential (RCP), which represents how much they can expect to collect over time from enforced collection activities. The IRS may request additional documentation or clarification during this process.

If approved, taxpayers must adhere to specific terms and conditions outlined in their accepted agreement with the IRS. With an understanding of what goes into submitting an OIC application, one can prepare for negotiations with the tax authorities confidently.

Negotiating With The Irs

An Offer in Compromise (OIC) is a program offered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that allows taxpayers to settle their tax debt for less than the full amount owed. The IRS considers an OIC when it believes that the taxpayer cannot pay the full amount of taxes owed, and accepting a lesser amount would be in the best interest of both parties. To determine whether an OIC is appropriate, the IRS evaluates the taxpayer's ability to pay, income, expenses, and asset equity.

The process of negotiating an Offer in Compromise with the IRS involves several key steps:

  • Submitting required forms and documentation: Taxpayers must submit Form 656, Offer in Compromise, and Form 433-A (OIC) or Form 433-B (OIC), Collection Information Statement.

  • Providing a reasonable offer: Taxpayers should propose an offer based on their financial situation that they believe will be acceptable to the IRS.

  • Paying an application fee and initial payment: A non-refundable application fee of $205 must be submitted along with the required forms. Additionally, taxpayers must submit an initial payment based on their chosen payment option.

  • Waiting for review: The IRS will review all submitted materials to determine if the taxpayer is eligible for an OIC and whether their proposed offer is acceptable.

  • Receiving a decision: The IRS may accept, reject or return (if incomplete) the OIC. If accepted, taxpayers must fulfill all terms of the agreement.

It is important to note that while negotiating with the IRS for an Offer in Compromise, taxpayers are still responsible for meeting ongoing tax obligations. This means filing all required tax returns and making estimated tax payments as necessary. Failure to meet these requirements can result in defaulting on any accepted OIC agreement.

With careful planning and adherence to guidelines provided by the Internal Revenue Service, many taxpayers can successfully negotiate Offers in Compromise that help them resolve outstanding tax debt. Once an OIC is accepted, it's crucial for taxpayers to focus on fulfilling the terms of the agreement, which may include making scheduled payments and meeting other stipulations outlined by the IRS. By doing so, individuals can bring their tax obligations up to date and move forward with a fresh financial start. In the next section, we will explore how taxpayers can effectively fulfill the terms of an accepted offer and maintain compliance with ongoing tax responsibilities.

Fulfilling The Terms Of The Accepted Offer

Once the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has accepted an Offer in Compromise (OIC), it is essential for the taxpayer to adhere to the terms and conditions outlined in the agreement. By doing so, the taxpayer can settle their tax debt for a reduced amount, preventing further collection actions and penalties from the IRS. To ensure compliance with the OIC requirements, taxpayers must be diligent in fulfilling their obligations under the accepted offer.

The following table provides an overview of some common terms and conditions that taxpayers must meet after their OIC has been accepted:

Term or Condition Description
Installment Payments If the offer includes installment payments, they must be made on time and for the agreed-upon amounts.
Future Tax Compliance The taxpayer must file all required tax returns and pay any taxes owed on time for five years following acceptance of the OIC.
Federal Tax Lien Release After all agreed-upon payments are made, the IRS will release any federal tax liens associated with the compromised debt.
Forfeit Refunds or Credits The taxpayer may be required to forfeit any refunds or credits they would have otherwise received during a specified period as part of their OIC agreement.

It is crucial for individuals to understand these terms and conditions when entering into an Offer in Compromise agreement. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in defaulting on the offer, leading to reinstatement of the original tax debt and potential additional penalties. By staying informed about their obligations under an accepted OIC, taxpayers can successfully resolve their outstanding tax liabilities while avoiding future issues with the IRS.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Still Apply For An Offer In Compromise If I Am Currently In An Installment Agreement With The Irs?

An Offer in Compromise (OIC) is a potential option for taxpayers who are struggling with significant tax debt, and it allows them to settle their tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed.

However, if an individual is already in an installment agreement with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), it raises the question of whether they can still apply for an OIC.

The answer is yes; one can apply for an OIC while being in an installment agreement.

To do so, they will need to submit a complete OIC application package, including all required forms and documentation.

If the IRS approves the OIC, the existing installment agreement will be terminated.

However, if the OIC application is denied or withdrawn, the taxpayer must continue making payments according to their installment agreement terms.

It is important to note that applying for an OIC does not guarantee acceptance; therefore, seeking guidance from a tax professional during this process may be beneficial.

Ensuring that all tax records are complete and up-to-date is essential for a successful Offer in Compromise submission.

How Long Does The Entire Offer In Compromise Process Typically Take From Start To Finish?

The duration of the entire Offer in Compromise process typically varies depending on specific circumstances and factors involved, but it often takes anywhere from 6 to 24 months to complete.

This time frame is influenced by multiple factors such as the complexity of the case, accuracy of documentation submitted, and the responsiveness of both parties involved.

During this process, taxpayers submit a proposal to the IRS with an offer amount they are able to pay, which is then reviewed by the agency for consideration.

If accepted, this can result in a reduced tax debt and resolution of the tax issue; however, if rejected, taxpayers may need to explore alternative options or go through an appeals process.

Can I Appeal The Decision If My Offer In Compromise Is Rejected By The Irs?

If an Offer in Compromise (OIC) is rejected by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), individuals have the right to appeal the decision.

To initiate this process, a written request for an appeal must be submitted within 30 days of receiving the rejection notice.

This can be done by completing Form 13711, Request for Appeal of Offer in Compromise, and providing additional documentation or information that may support the reconsideration of the OIC.

The IRS Office of Appeals will review the case independently and make a determination.

It is essential to note that during the appeal process, penalties and interest on tax debts continue to accrue, which may increase the total amount due if the OIC is ultimately not accepted.

Are There Any Circumstances In Which The Irs May Revoke An Accepted Offer In Compromise?

The IRS may revoke an accepted offer in compromise under certain circumstances, which typically involve a breach of the agreement by the taxpayer.

Such breaches may include failure to adhere to tax filing and payment requirements, providing false or incomplete information during the application process, or failing to disclose significant changes in financial circumstances.

If the IRS believes that any of these situations apply, they have the authority to revoke the previously accepted offer in compromise and reinstate the original tax debt owed by the taxpayer.

It is crucial for individuals who have reached an agreement with the IRS through this program to maintain compliance with all tax laws and obligations to avoid potential revocation of their offer.

Will An Offer In Compromise Have Any Impact On My Credit Score Or Future Ability To Obtain Loans?

An Offer in Compromise (OIC) can potentially have an impact on an individual's credit score and future ability to obtain loans.

When the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) accepts an OIC, it indicates that a taxpayer has settled their tax debt for less than the full amount owed.

This information may be reported to credit bureaus, which could result in a negative mark on the person's credit report.

Consequently, lenders might view this as a sign of financial instability or risk, making it more difficult for the individual to secure loans or favorable interest rates in the future.

However, the impact of an OIC on credit scores may vary depending on multiple factors such as payment history and overall creditworthiness.


In conclusion, an Offer in Compromise (OIC) can be a beneficial option for individuals facing financial difficulties and seeking relief from tax debt. It is important to fully understand the process, eligibility requirements, and potential consequences of an OIC before pursuing this option.

Additionally, seeking professional assistance may increase the likelihood of a successful outcome in negotiating an Offer in Compromise with the Internal Revenue Service.

Finally, it is crucial for taxpayers to remain compliant with their tax obligations even after obtaining an OIC approval. This includes timely filing and payment of taxes in the future.

By understanding and adhering to the terms of an accepted Offer in Compromise, individuals can successfully resolve their tax debts and work towards improving their financial situation.

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