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Offer in Compromise (OIC) Overview

If taxpayers are unable to pay a tax debt in full and an installment agreement is not an option, they may be able to take advantage of an offer in compromise (OIC). Generally, an OIC should be viewed as a last resort after taxpayers have explored all other available payment options. The IRS resolves less than one percent of all balance due accounts through the OIC program.

What is an Offer in Compromise?

An offer in compromise is an agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS that resolves the taxpayer's tax debt. The IRS has the authority to settle, or "compromise," federal tax liabilities by accepting less than full payment under certain circumstances. A tax debt can be legally compromised for one of the following reasons:

  • Doubt as to liability - Doubt exists that the assessed tax is correct.
  • Doubt as to collectibility - Doubt exists that the taxpayer could ever pay the full amount of tax owed.
  • Effective Tax Administration - There is no doubt the tax is correct and could be collected but an exceptional circumstance exists that allows the IRS to consider a taxpayer's OIC. To be eligible for a compromise on this basis, the taxpayer must demonstrate that collection of the tax would create an economic hardship or would be unfair and inequitable.

As the result of the issuance of the revised Form 656, Offer in Compromise 3/2018 revision, a taxpayer is now required to file a Form 656 – L, Offer in Compromise (Doubt as to Liability) when it is believed that the tax liability is incorrect, while Form 656, Offer in Compromise should be filed only when there is doubt as to collectibility that the tax liability could ever be paid in full, or under the basis of Effective Tax Administration (ETA). A taxpayer is no longer able to file offers concurrently claiming both that the tax liability is incorrect along with an inability to pay it.

Form 656, Offer in Compromise 3/2018 revision also incorporates changes in the processing guidelines as the IRS will no longer investigate an offer for a tax year or tax period that has not been assessed. The IRS will return the offer back to the taxpayer if it is submitted solely for an unassessed tax year or tax period.

Taxpayers should beware of promoters' claims that tax debts can be settled for "pennies on the dollar" through the offer in compromise program.

You should read our BEWARE REPORT


Client Reviews
★★★★★
Mike has given us peace of mind! He helped negotiate down a large balance and get us on a payment plan that we can afford with no worries! The stress of dealing with the IRS is huge and Mike helped us through it all. The peace of mind is invaluable, thank you Mike! April S.
★★★★★
Mike Habib - Thank you for being so professional and honest and taking care of my brothers IRS situation. We are so relieved it is over and the offer in compromise process went just as you said. Mike is very professional and will give you honest answers to the OIC process and you can really trust him. You won't be sorry you chose him! Joe and Deborah V.
★★★★★
Mike is a true professional. He really came thru for me and my business. Dealing with the IRS is very scary. I'm a small business person who works hard and Mike helped me see that they are not that scary after all. He was always there with the answers I needed and was very good about calling me back which I appreciated since your first reaction is to freak out and ask a million questions. He solved a messy case and worked very hard to resolve it. His rates are VERY reasonable for the amount of work he does! I give him my highest recommendation! Marcie R.
★★★★★
Mike was incredibly responsive to my IRS issues. Once I decided to go with him (after interviewing numerous other tax professionals), he got on the phone with the IRS immediately (as in the same day I signed with him) to squash an impending issue. And he worked directly with them to quickly come to a resolution I am very happy with. I'd highly recommend reaching out to Mike to see if he can help you with any IRS issues. I'm very satisfied! Marshall W.
★★★★★
I’ve seen and heard plenty of commercials on TV and radio for businesses offering tax help. I did my research on many of them only to discover numerous complaints and unresolved tax issues. I found Mike Habib through my own online search and contacted him. He was very professional with great communication, always answering my questions and concerns. Mike resolved my complicated tax problem just as he said he would. I would definitely recommend his services to family and friends. Nancy & Sal V.
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