An installment agreement can be an option for you to pay your taxes to the IRS and the state. This is after all your tax returns have been filed and the total tax liability has been calculated. An installment agreement is a good option if you don’t have the finances to pay the tax when it is due. You will need to provide financial information to be eligible. This includes your income and expenses each month. The IRS or the state can then determine your ability to pay.

Negotiating an installment plan can be very complex and require documentation to support the income and expenses. Your ability to pay will depend on your monthly income and expenses. However, you may be able to pay for some expenses based on various IRS standards. Some exceptions might apply so it is worth seeking the guidance of a tax lawyer who is skilled in these types of matters.

The government will stop pursuing forced collection actions such as levying wages or bank accounts, once an installment agreement has been established. As long as you comply with any future tax filings, and pay all installments in a timely fashion under the terms, the government will not levy your property. Your property will not be seized or levied (with the exception of future tax refunds), but federal tax liens can be filed to protect the government’s rights in your property in the event of default. The amount of tax owed is dependent on whether a lien is filed.


You may be able to get into “currently non-collectible” status with the IRS or some states. Your income must be less than your expenses to qualify. This will leave little money for the government. If you are in a “currently uncollectible” situation, the government will acknowledge your financial hardship and not collect payments until your financial circumstances improve.


Access to simplified installment agreements has been made much easier under the Fresh Start Program. The IRS will usually agree to a payment schedule that will repay the tax debt in full within 72 months. This is without the need for extensive financial information. The simplified process is available to taxpayers with tax debts of up to $50,000.


We encourage you to consult a Tenina Law tax attorney if you want to stop collection actions and regain financial stability.

This article was written by Alla Tenina. Alla is one of the best tax attorneys in Los Angeles California, and the founder of Tenina law. She has experience in bankruptcies, real estate planning, and complex tax matters. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information. This website contains links to other third-party websites. Such links are only for the convenience of the reader, user or browser; the ABA and its members do not recommend or endorse the contents of the third-party sites.

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