The “Offer” is Too Good To Refuse
Posted By: Jennifer O'Neill // Oct 31, 2015
Everyone wins when Internal Revenue accepts an Offer in Compromise.
The Service and the federal government win an immediate, up-front settlement of an obligation which otherwise might take many fiscal years and hundreds of staff hours to collect.
The overextended taxpayer wins the freedom of a lifted burden, knowing that the government is satisfied and a productive life can go on.
Yet editorial pages overflow with accusations that somebody got a “sweetheart deal” each time a reporter claims to have “exposed” the so-called “special treatment” of a 15-cent-on-the-dollar tax settlement.
It doesn’t take the super powers of a Clark Kent to produce a newspaper article or TV report on Offers in Compromise. They’re a matter of public record. Nobody tried to hide them. Any citizen could go and look them up.
What any citizen can NOT do is walk into the IRS headquarters and say, “I’ll pay you 15 cents on the dollar of this years tax bill, because it’s in the paper that you accept that.”
Settlement of an IRS tax obligation through an Offer in Compromise falls just short of a last resort. The circumstances bear some similarity to a bankruptcy proceeding. Two reasonable entities have gotten together and agreed that the debtor has reached such a condition that the debt simply can not be settled in full. Both realize that the longer the matter remains unsettled, the greater the chance that the debtor will be left with nothing for the IRS to collect.
N one ever wants to be in this situation. Many under IRS scrutiny live in fear of even opening their mail- and often there are checks in there. Meantime, the matter takes up both time and space in IRS office adding to the cost of the government our very taxes support.
The Offer in Compromise recognizes this sour situation and squeezes the lemons into the lemonade. Neither the Service not the taxpayer can go back in time and undo the circumstances that led to this unfortunate state but both can take steps to settle it while something remains.
You will be better to pay your taxes at the rate of 100 cents on the dollar as they’re due. You never want to reach a circumstance where you need to make an Offer in Compromise. If you are, though, you will want the advice of a true profession from IRS Help. The settlement you may reach will be the best for both you and your country.
Those who preach otherwise, whether in editorials or letters to the editor, simply do not have all the facts.