How to Get Out of Debt With the IRS

Title: How to Get Out of Debt With the IRS: A Comprehensive Guide


Dealing with debt can be overwhelming, especially when it involves the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If you find yourself in tax debt, it’s essential to take action promptly to avoid further financial complications. This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to get out of debt with the IRS, along with a FAQs section to address common concerns.

1. Assess Your Tax Debt:

The first step in resolving your tax debt is understanding the extent of your financial obligation. Gather all relevant tax documents, including past returns, notices from the IRS, and income records. Review these documents to determine the total amount owed, including any penalties and interest. This assessment will help you develop an appropriate plan to tackle your debt.

2. Communicate with the IRS:

Keeping the lines of communication open with the IRS is crucial. Ignoring their notices or failing to respond can lead to more severe consequences. Contact the IRS to discuss your debt and explore potential solutions. You may ask for additional time to pay, set up an installment agreement, or even request an offer in compromise.

3. Set Up an Installment Agreement:

If you are unable to pay your tax debt in full, the IRS offers installment agreements. This arrangement allows you to pay off your debt in monthly installments over a specified period. To initiate an installment agreement, complete Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request, and submit it to the IRS. Ensure you provide accurate financial information to determine the monthly payments you can afford.

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4. Consider an Offer in Compromise:

An Offer in Compromise (OIC) is an option available for taxpayers who are unable to pay their tax debt in full. This program allows you to settle your debt for less than the total amount owed. However, qualifying for an OIC can be challenging. The IRS will assess your ability to pay, income, expenses, and asset equity. Consult a tax professional to determine if you qualify and to help you navigate the complex application process.

5. Seek Professional Assistance:

Resolving tax debt with the IRS can be complex, and seeking professional assistance can be beneficial. Enlisting the services of a tax attorney, certified public accountant (CPA), or enrolled agent can help you navigate the process effectively. These professionals have the knowledge and experience to negotiate with the IRS on your behalf, ensuring the best possible outcome.


Q1: Can I negotiate with the IRS to reduce my tax debt?

A: Yes, you can negotiate with the IRS to reduce your tax debt through an Offer in Compromise (OIC). However, qualifying for an OIC can be challenging, and it’s advisable to seek professional assistance.

Q2: Can the IRS seize my assets if I owe them money?

A: Yes, if you fail to resolve your tax debt, the IRS can take legal action to collect what you owe, including seizing your assets or placing a lien on your property.

Q3: Can I request an installment agreement for my tax debt?

A: Yes, an installment agreement allows you to pay off your tax debt in monthly installments over a specified period. Complete Form 9465 to request an installment agreement.

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Q4: What happens if I ignore the IRS notices?

A: Ignoring IRS notices can lead to severe consequences, including additional penalties, interest, and even legal action. It’s crucial to address any communication promptly.

Q5: How long does it take to resolve tax debt with the IRS?

A: The time required to resolve tax debt varies depending on the complexity of the case. It may take several months to years to reach a resolution. Patience and persistence are key.


Getting out of debt with the IRS can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. By assessing your tax debt, communicating with the IRS, and exploring various options like installment agreements or an Offer in Compromise, you can take control of your financial situation. Remember, seeking professional assistance can greatly increase your chances of reaching a favorable resolution. Take action today to alleviate the burden of tax debt and pave the way towards financial freedom.