Ultimate Guide to IRS Installment Agreements

Many taxpayers find themselves unable to pay their full tax balances when they file their income tax returns. Some common reasons that people might have for being unable to pay their taxes to the IRS include increased investment returns, more self-employment income, bonuses, and salary increases. When a taxpayer is unable to immediately pay his or her tax debt, making payment arrangements will likely be necessary.

The most common type of payment arrangement taxpayers can make to take care of their tax balances is an installment agreement. With this type of arrangement, taxpayers will make monthly payments to the IRS. In most cases, the payments are made by payroll deductions or direct debits. The set-up fee for a direct debit agreement made online is $31. If the direct debit installment agreement is created over the phone, in-person, or by mail, the set-up fee is $107. Fees can be waived for low-income taxpayers.

If the taxpayer enters into an agreement to pay by other methods, the online set-up fee is $149. If the application is made in-person, over the phone, or by mail, the set-up fee is $225. Low-income taxpayers will be charged a set-up fee of $43.

During the installment agreement, late-payment penalties and interest will continue to accrue. However, the late-payment penalties will be halved during the months during which an installment agreement is effective. Installment agreements can be set up by calling the IRS, using the online payment agreement or OPA tool, or filing form 9465. Here is a guide to what you need to know about IRS installment agreements.

Understanding IRS installment agreements

Taxpayers are responsible for meeting their obligations when they owe outstanding tax liabilities to the government. When a tax liability is overdue, the taxpayer will incur monthly late-payment penalties and added interest. To avoid added charges, taxpayers are advised to pay their balances in full. However, some taxpayers are not able to do so. When taxpayers cannot pay what they owe in full, the IRS allows them to enter installment agreements to make monthly payments.

Taxpayers have the following options when they make payments:

  • Payroll deductions
  • Direct debits
  • Payments through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System
  • Credit card payments
  • Check or money order payments
  • Payment by the OPA


Streamlined IRS Installment Agreements

Streamlined installment agreements are available to individual taxpayers who owe less than $50,000 under IRM This includes all unpaid assessments but does not include … Continue reading

Tax Resolution Training: Attend Our “Sweeping Overview” Series at No Cost (Free CPE)

Becoming a specialist in any specific service offering, be it advisory, tax planning, tax resolution, or anything else, requires establishing a solid foundation of knowledge. Once you’ve established that foundation, you can then take deeper dives into specific subject areas to increase your technical competency in those areas.

To obtain that foundation, Tax Resolution Academy® is proud and delighted to announce our complete introductory tax resolution course arc is now available. This new curriculum, consisting a total of 7 hours of material, is now being presented in an ongoing rotation. Six of these tax resolution courses qualify for continuing education credit with the IRS for Enrolled Agents, NASBA for CPAs, and the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy specifically for CPAs in Texas.

We have called this basic tax resolution training program the Sweeping Overview series because each class provides exactly that: A sweeping overview of topics to help you learn more about what tax resolution actually is, what’s involved in the day-to-day client work, and broad concepts to help you evaluate tax debt cases for resolution. If you’ve ever taken a survey course in college, that would appropriately describe what we’re trying to achieve with this training program.

Since tax resolution encompasses quite a few sub-topics, we felt that this broad survey approach to teaching the basics was the appropriate way to present the foundational knowledge on which you can then build a successful career and highly profitable tax firm.

Tax Resolution Training Topics

The complete set of courses, broken into 1-hour webinars, is as follows:

  • IRS Collections Representation: A Sweeping Overview (1 hour CE/CPE)
  • IRS Collections Financial Analysis: A Sweeping Overview (1 hour CE/CPE)
  • IRS Examination Representation: A Sweeping Overview (1 hour CE/CPE)
  • Trust Fund Recovery Penalty: A Sweeping Overview (1 hour CE/CPE)
  • Federal Tax Liens: A Sweeping Overview (1 hour CE/CPE)
  • IRS Appeals: A Sweeping Overview (1 hour CE/CPE)
  • The First $2500: 3 Tax Resolution Marketing Tactics to Find Your First Clients (1 hour, no CE/CPE)

These classes are taught in a continuous rotation. They are presented Wednesdays at 10am Pacific / 11am Mountain / 12pm Central / 1pm Eastern times.

To see the current schedule of classes, and register for upcoming sessions, visit our Eventbrite page:


What’s Covered in Each Class?

As you start your tax resolution training journey with us, you may want to know exactly what we’ll be covering.

To reiterate: These are basic, introductory level classes. They … Continue reading

2021 Will Almost Surely See a Spike in TFRP Cases

One of my favorite things about taxpayer representation is that it is a recession-proof business.

In fact, on the IRS Collections representation side of things, it’s a business that booms during a recession. Despite the ’07-’08 recession throwing me into bankruptcy, I was incredibly fortunate to then stumble into an industry that was poised to take off like a rocket.

In much the same way as back in 2008, small businesses today are suffering. Hundreds of thousands of small business owners are being forced to make painful decisions, right now, about what to do with their limited capital. Since they often fail to understand the long-term consequences, they frequently opt to stop paying their payroll taxes during times like this, to instead pay suppliers and employees. That’s just the reality of the situation for them to continue operating right now.

But, of course, today’s missed Federal Tax Deposit (FTD) is tomorrow’s Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP) assessment.

Most of the new 941 tax debt cases being created right now won’t really start being worked by SB/SE Collections until mid to late 2021. That’s just another reality of the current situation. By then, those tax debtors will have accumulated 4 to 6 quarters of 941 liability.

Are you going to be ready and able to represent such tax debtors next year?

To help you get started in this arena, on Dec. 10 at 10am PST I’ll be presenting the next installment in our Sweeping Overview series of CPE classes, covering the TFRP. This class will be a 1-hour, big picture overview of a variety of TFRP representation concepts. To create this class, I’m literally extracting specific slides from the PowerPoint decks that make up the much deeper 8-hour TFRP arc contained within our CTR™ curriculum. So, just like the rest of our Sweeping Overview courses, this class is exactly that: A sweeping overview of basic, high level concepts. These classes are really intended for those tax professionals that have zero prior exposure to the topic, but they’re also a good “knowledge check” class for experienced taxpayer representatives.

Course objectives for this class are:

  • Recognize the role of the Trust Fund Recovery Penalty in the IRS Collection process.
  • Describe the IRS trust fund investigation process.
  • Identify the most common defenses against TFRP personal assessment.
  • List the steps in the TFRP appeals process.

Registration for this class is only $10, and seating is limited to the … Continue reading