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BTB Stock Income Tax Updates

Don’t be Scammed – Understand your Options if You Owe the IRS

As the 2024 filing season draws to a close, many taxpayers may find themselves with a balance due that they cannot pay. When this happens, the IRS provides payment options. Among those include installment agreements and for those who qualify, an offer in compromise. The IRS is renewing its warning to taxpayers concerning pricey offer in compromise (OIC) “mills” that aggressively mislead taxpayers into thinking their tax debts can disappear.

As in past years, companies running OIC mills continue heavily advertising their promises to settle taxpayer debt at steep discounts for pennies on the dollar. While OIC is a legitimate IRS program, many taxpayers do not meet the technical requirements for the tax resolution program, often leaving them facing excessive fees from the promoters for information they could have easily obtained for free by using the IRS’s Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier tool.

An OIC is a legitimate IRS program that allows qualifying taxpayers to work with the IRS to settle a tax debt for less than the full amount owed. It is an option for those who may be unable to pay their full tax liability, or if doing so creates a financial hardship. In determining eligibility, the IRS considers the taxpayer’s unique situation. The OIC agreement occurs directly between the taxpayer and the IRS.

Taxpayers, however, should be cautious of OIC mills, which make exaggerated claims through radio and TV ads about settling tax debts inexpensively. In reality, these mills often charge excessive fees, and taxpayers end up paying for a service they could have obtained directly from the IRS.

The IRS urges individuals to spend a few minutes reviewing information on to determine if they may be eligible for the OIC program by using the IRS’s Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier tool for free.

The IRS also reminds taxpayers about the first time penalty abatement policy, where taxpayers can go directly to the IRS for administrative relief from a penalty that would otherwise be added to their tax debt.

The OIC is a valuable IRS program to help taxpayers who cannot pay their federal tax debts, and some companies offer legitimate services. But the IRS encourages individuals to take a few minutes to assess the information available on to determine if they meet the eligibility criteria for the OIC program and to avoid hiring expensive promoters.

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