5 Tips for Taxpayers Who Owe Money to the IRS

The vast majority of Americans get a tax refund from the IRS each spring. But what if you're not one of them? What if you owe money to the IRS?

Here are five tips for individuals who still need to pay their taxes.

  1. If you get a bill for late taxes, you are expected to promptly pay the tax owed including any additional penalties and interest. You can pay the balance owed by electronic funds transfer, check, money order, cashier's check, or cash. If you are unable to pay the amount due, it is often in your best interest to get a loan to pay the bill in full rather than to make installment payments to the IRS.

    You can also pay the bill with your credit card. In either case, the interest rate on a credit card or bank loan may be lower than the combination of interest and penalties imposed by the Internal Revenue Code.

  2. If you cannot pay the liability in full you may request an installment agreement. This is an agreement between you and the IRS for the collection of the amount due and is payable in monthly installment payments. To be eligible for an installment agreement, you must first file all required returns and be current with estimated tax payments.
  3. You can also use an installment agreement if you owe $25,000 or less in combined tax, penalties, and interest. The IRS will inform you usually within 30 days whether your request is approved or denied or if additional information is needed. If the amount you owe is $25,000 or less, provide the monthly amount you wish to pay with your request. At a minimum, the monthly amount you will be allowed to pay without completing a Collection Information Statement is an amount that will fully pay the total balance owed within 60 months.
  4. You may still qualify for an installment agreement if you owe more than $25,000, but a Collection Information Statement must be completed before an installment agreement can be considered. If your balance is over $25,000, consider your financial situation and propose the highest amount possible, as that is how the IRS will arrive at your payment amount (based on your financial information).
  5. If an installment agreement is approved, a one-time user fee will be charged. The user fee for a new agreement is $105 or $52 for agreements where payments are deducted directly from your bank account. For eligible individuals with incomes at or below certain levels, a reduced fee of $43 will be charged. This is automatically figured and is based on your income.

If you owe the IRS money, give our office a call. We can help you set up installment agreements and other payment options.