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What if You Can’t Pay Taxes Owed?

It is close to the due date
for taxes and you just prepared your return and realize that you owe
more money than you can pay. This year, more than ever, taxpayers
are coming up short on the taxes they owe. Since this is such a common
problem, you can be assured there are many options available for you.

The first thing you need to
do, even if you know you can’t
pay your taxes owed, is to send in your completed tax return. The penalty for not filing
is more than the penalty for not paying. Once you have your taxes
filed then you can figure out what you are going to do about payment.
Below are some of the most common solutions for paying for taxes when
you cannot afford to pay. The right option for each person varies
depending upon their unique financial situation.

Find the Money Elsewhere

Many times you could easily
get together enough money to pay off taxes by thinking outside of the
box a little. Some options to pay in full when you don’t have
the money are the following:

  • Credit Cards
  • Home equity loan
  • Friends and Family
  • Pay advance from
  • Sell old items on

Some of these options should
be used wisely. Even if you can borrow money, sometimes there could
be a better option. Consider some of the below options before borrowing

IRS Installment Agreement

This is a very common mechanism
to pay back IRS taxes owed. The IRS will allow individuals to pay taxes
off in monthly increments (including interest) if they can pay off the
tax amount owed in 3 years or less. To apply for an installment
agreement you will need to fill out IRS form 9465 with the IRS. This
agreement will allow you to have money taken right out of your bank
account that will go towards the taxes you owe. This is a better
method to use than using a credit card because the interest rates are
typically lower.

Financial Hardship/Uncollectible

If you cannot qualify for an
installment agreement, you may be able to get determined uncollectible
by the IRS. This will temporarily put you back on good terms with
the IRS and prevent the IRS from taking any actions against you.
They will check back every so often to see if your financial situation
has improved enough for you to pay back the taxes you owe.

Offer in Compromise

This is typically a last resort
option. The IRS will only consider this option if they think it
is very unlikely they will ever collect the taxes you owe. Under
this method you will pay a lump sum offer to the IRS for taxes owed.
The amount paid is typically much lower than the actual amount owed.
To apply for this you will be required to fill out a personal financial
statement and submit IRS form 656 to the IRS to be considered.
Very few of these filings are actually accepted and it is highly recommended
to consult a tax professional before attempting to make this type of

Picking the right method to pay back taxes is important. If the problem goes ignored, penalties and interest on unpaid amounts will add up very quickly. If you need help with taxes and help with picking the best resolution method, you should consult with
a tax resolution firm.

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3 Responses to “What if You Can’t Pay Taxes Owed?”

  1. Joe says:

    If you need to borrow money to cover taxes, borrowing from family or some friends is better than popping out your credit card. Family or trusted friends don’t charge interest.

    Selling items is is difficult, but still better than using plastic.

  2. chris says:

    Selling items is is difficult, but still better than using plastic.

    i think it too

  3. mr tax says:

    Excellent information, thanks for the article

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