March 30, 2023
WASHINGTON – As part of the annual Dirty Dozen tax scams series, the Internal Revenue Service today renewed a warning about so-called Offer in Compromise “mills” that often mislead taxpayers into believing they can settle a tax debt for pennies on the dollar.
The IRS continues to see instances of heavily advertised promises offering to settle taxpayer debt at steep discounts. The IRS sees many situations where taxpayers don’t meet the technical requirements for an offer, but they had to face excessive fees from promoters for information they can easily obtain themselves.
Offer in Compromise mills highlight day nine of the Dirty Dozen series. Offers in Compromise are an important program to help people who can’t pay to settle their federal tax debts. But “mills” can aggressively promote Offers in Compromise in misleading ways to people who clearly don’t meet the qualifications, frequently costing taxpayers thousands of dollars.
A taxpayer can check their eligibility for free using the IRS’s Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier tool.
“Too often, we see some unscrupulous promoters mislead taxpayers into thinking they can magically get rid of a tax debt,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. “This is a legitimate IRS program, but there are specific requirements for people to qualify. People desperate for help can make a costly mistake if they clearly don’t qualify for the program. Before using an aggressive promoter, we encourage people to review readily available IRS resources to help resolve a tax debt on their own without facing hefty fees.”
The Dirty Dozen is an annual IRS list of 12 scams and schemes that put taxpayers and the tax professional community at risk of losing money, personal data and more. Some items on the list are new and some make a return visit. While the list is not a legal document or a formal listing of agency enforcement priorities, it is intended to alert taxpayers, businesses and tax preparers about scams at large.
Working together as the Security Summit, the IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry have taken numerous steps to warn people about common scams and schemes during tax season and beyond. The Security Summit initiative is committed to protecting taxpayers, businesses and the tax system from scammers and identity thieves.
Watch to watch out for: Offer in Compromise mills
An Offer in Compromise (OIC) is when the taxpayer works with the IRS to settle a tax debt for less than the full amount owed. It is an option for those unable to pay the full tax liability or if doing so creates a financial hardship. The IRS takes in consideration each unique set of facts and circumstances. This agreement can happen directly between the taxpayer and the IRS without a third party.
An Offer in Compromise “mill” will usually make outlandish claims, frequently in radio and TV ads, about how they can settle a person’s tax debt for cheap. In reality, the promoter fees are often excessive, and taxpayers pay the OIC mill to get the same deal they could have received on their own by working directly with the IRS. This takes unnecessary money out of the taxpayer’s wallet.
In addition, not every taxpayer will qualify for an OIC. Some promoters knowingly advise indebted taxpayers to file an OIC application even though the promoters know the person will not qualify, costing honest taxpayers money and time.
The IRS urges people to take a few minutes to review information on IRS.gov to see if they might be a good candidate for the OIC program – and avoid costly promoters. As a first step, a taxpayer can check their OIC eligibility for free using the IRS’s Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier tool. And the IRS reminds taxpayers about the First Time Penalty Abatement policy, where taxpayers can go directly to the IRS for administrative relief from a penalty that would otherwise be added to their tax debt.
Tax On Wheels, LLC offers legitimate services to assist you with your IRS debt. Sometimes the best answer is to simply pay your bill, either in installments or with a single lump sum. However, you may fit into a category that will allow you some relief on your tax debts. Tax On Wheels, LLC can assist you with:
- Bringing you into compliance by preparing and filing all past due tax returns
- Determining if you have criminal exposure and will need to consult with a tax attorney
- Evaluating your tax debt and your personal financial situation to determine if you might be eligible for any of several tax debt relief tools available from the IRS
- Developing a strategy for using any of the legally available tools to minimize the amount of your tax debt you actually have to pay
- Preparing and submitting the necessary forms and requests to obtain the tax relief that you are entitled to under the law, up to and including possible total elimination of your tax debt.
- Providing ongoing monitoring and assistance in dealing with the IRS bureaucracy to insure your application is processed as quickly as the law requires the IRS to act and your rights are protected
If you need help with tax debt resolution or IRS representation, don’t hesitate to call Tax On Wheels, LLC for a free initial consultation today at 877 439-3514.