The IRS has recently announced an effort to help struggling taxpayers get back on track with their tax liabilities. The goal is to assist small business and individuals with meeting their tax obligations, without adding unnecessary burden. With this in mind the IRS has announced new programs and policies to help taxpayers pay their back taxes and avoid tax liens.
Recently (August 2011), the IRS put out their Summertime Tax tip which lists 10 Tips for Taxpayers who owe money to the IRS.
Taken from the IRS website (http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=172694,00.html), here are the 10 tips:
- Tax bill payments. If you get a bill this summer for late taxes, you are expected to promptly pay the tax owed including any penalties and interest. 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.
- Additional time to pay. Based on your circumstances, you may be granted a short additional time to pay your tax in full. A brief additional amount of time to pay can be requested through the Online Payment Agreement application at www.irs.gov or by calling 800-829-1040.
- Credit card payments. You can pay your bill with a credit card. The interest rate on a credit card may be lower than the combination of interest and penalties imposed by the Internal Revenue Code. To pay by credit card contact one of the following processing companies: Link2Gov at 888-PAY-1040 (or www.pay1040.com), RBS WorldPay, Inc. at 888-9PAY-TAX (or www.payUSAtax.com), or Official Payments Corporation at 888-UPAY-TAX (or www.officialpayments.com/fed).
- Electronic Funds Transfer. You can pay the balance by electronic funds transfer, check, money order, cashier’s check or cash. To pay using electronic funds transfer, use the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System by either calling 800-555-4477 or using the online access at www.eftps.gov.
- Installment Agreement. You may request an installment agreement if you cannot pay the liability in full. This is an agreement between you and the IRS to pay the amount due in monthly installment payments. You must first file all required returns and be current with estimated tax payments.
- Online Payment Agreement. If you owe $25,000 or less in combined tax, penalties and interest, you can request an installment agreement using the Online Payment Agreement application at www.irs.gov.
- Form 9465. You can complete and mail an IRS Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request, along with your bill in the envelope you received from the IRS. The IRS will inform you (usually within 30 days) whether your request is approved, denied, or if additional information is needed.
- Collection Information Statement. You may still qualify for an installment agreement if you owe more than $25,000, but you are required to complete a Form 433F, Collection Information Statement, before the IRS will consider an installment agreement.
- User fees. 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 lower incomes, the fee can be reduced to $43.
- Check withholding. Taxpayers who have a balance due may want to consider changing their W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, with their employer. A withholding calculator at www.irs.gov can help taxpayers determine the amount that should be withheld.