Thursday, December 21, 2006

Tax Help: An offer in compromise (OIC) is an agreement between a taxpayer and the Internal Revenue Service that resolves the taxpayer's tax liability. The IRS has the authority to settle, or compromise, federal tax liabilities by accepting less than full payment under certain circumstances. An OIC is considered only after all other collection alternatives have been explored.
The minimum offer amount must generally be equal to, or greater than, a taxpayer's reasonable collection potential (RCP). The RCP is defined as the total of the taxpayer's realizable value in real and personal assets, plus future income.
The IRS may legally compromise for one of the following reasons: doubt as to liability, when doubt exists that the assessed tax is correct; doubt as to collectibility, when doubt exists that the taxpayer could ever pay the full amount of tax owed; or effective tax administration. Under effective tax administration, there is no doubt that the assessed tax is correct and no doubt that the amount owed could be collected, but the taxpayer has an economic hardship or other special circumstances which may allow the IRS to accept less than the total balance due. Absent special circumstances, taxpayers that have the ability to pay the tax liability in a lump sum through an installment agreement will not be eligible for an OIC.
IRS Policy Statement P-5-100 For Offers in Comprimise
Offers will be accepted: The Service will accept an offer in compromise when it is unlikely that the tax liability can be collected in full and the amount offered reasonably reflects collection potential. An offer in compromise is a legitimate alternative to declaring a case currently not collectible or to a protracted installment agreement. The goal is to achieve collection of what is potentially collectible at the earliest possible time and at the least cost to the Government.
In cases where an offer in compromise appears to be a viable solution to a tax delinquency, the Service employee assigned the case will discuss the compromise alternative with the taxpayer and, when necessary, assist in preparing the required forms. The taxpayer will be responsible for initiating the first specific proposal for compromise.
The success of the compromise program will be assured only if taxpayers make adequate compromise proposals consistent with their ability to pay and the Service makes prompt and reasonable decisions. Taxpayers are expected to provide reasonable documentation to verify their ability to pay. The ultimate goal is a compromise which is in the best interest of both the taxpayer and the Service. Acceptance of an adequate offer will also result in creating for the taxpayer an expectation of and a fresh start toward compliance with all future filing and payment requirements.
An OIC is submitted on Form 656, Offer in Compromise. The Form 656 is a complete information package, also containing Forms 433-A and 433-B, Collection Information Statements, as well as instructions and a worksheet. .
The Form 656 is needed in the correct preparation of an OIC.
A tax attorney, specializing in IRS issues and problems is the most qualified to submit an Offer in Compromise on your behalf. There is substantial law that deals with law as, for example, section 7122 of the Internal Revenue Code, the OIC regulations, IRS published revenue procedures, the OIC legislative history, the IRS Internal Revenue Manual, appeal rights and procedures, as well as the tax policy supporting an OIC submission.

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