How to Negotiate an IRS Debt Settlement

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the United States’ federal tax authority. If you owe taxes to the IRS and you are unable to pay them, you may be able to settle your debt with the IRS. However, before you decide to do so, it is essential to understand the process and what it entails. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about IRS debt settlement, including how to qualify for it, the different types of settlements, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Qualifying for IRS Debt Settlement

Before you start the process of settling your tax debt, you need to check if you are eligible for IRS debt settlement. The main requirement to qualify for a settlement is that you owe more than the IRS can reasonably expect to collect from you. If you can prove that you have insufficient income or assets to pay off your debt within a reasonable time, you may qualify for debt settlement. You will also need to file all required tax returns and have no open bankruptcy proceedings.

Types of IRS Debt Settlement

The IRS offers different options for debt settlement, depending on your circumstances. The two main types of settlements are the Offer in Compromise (OIC) and Installment Agreement (IA). An OIC allows you to settle your tax debt for less than the full amount owed, while an IA gives you the option to pay off the debt in installments over time. Whether you opt for an OIC or IA will depend on your financial situation and the amount of debt you owe.

Advantages and Disadvantages of OIC

An OIC may seem like an attractive option because it allows you to settle your debt for less than the full amount owed. However, not everyone qualifies for an OIC, and the process can be lengthy and complex. Additionally, if your OIC is accepted, you will need to pay the settlement amount in a lump sum or through installment payments over a short period of time, which can be challenging for some taxpayers.

Advantages and Disadvantages of IA

An IA, on the other hand, allows you to pay off your tax debt in installments over time, making it a more manageable option for some taxpayers. However, you may end up paying more in interest and penalties over the life of the agreement, and the IRS may file a federal tax lien against your property. Additionally, if you default on your IA, the IRS can take collections action against you.


In conclusion, IRS debt settlement can be a real lifesaver for those struggling with tax debt. However, before you decide to settle your debt, it is important to understand your options and what they entail. If you are eligible for debt settlement, weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each type of settlement and choose the one that best fits your financial situation. Remember to always consult a tax professional for personalized advice on IRS debt settlement.