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Tips on how to Set Up an IRS Cost Plan If You Cannot Pay Your Taxes

IRS payment plan

As a lot as we’d wish to, generally it simply isn’t doable to pay your total tax invoice all of sudden, particularly for those who owe a number of thousand {dollars}. Borrowing cash from a financial institution or relations might not be an possibility.

For those who can’t meet your tax invoice obligation, what are you able to do to keep away from wage garnishment by the IRS?

It’d sound shocking, however the IRS has a comparatively taxpayer-friendly cost plan. If that wasn’t sufficient to make you ask which universe that is true in, most individuals will really qualify for the plan.

For these of us who’re unfortunate sufficient to fall into the 21% who will owe taxes this yr (in line with Forbes), the IRS’ cost plan generally is a good possibility for paying down a big tax invoice.

Forms of Funds Plans

For people, the IRS has two funds plans. One is long-term and the opposite is short-term. There are literally two long-term choices — one with computerized withdrawals and the opposite with out.

Brief-Time period Cost Plan

For those who owe lower than $100,000 and pays your tax invoice in 120 days or much less, there gained’t be any setup charge to your cost plan. Curiosity and penalties will nonetheless accrue. You’ll be able to pay with computerized funds utilizing your checking account, examine, debit card, or bank card.

You’ll incur extra charges when utilizing playing cards.

Lengthy-Time period Cost Plan with Computerized Withdrawals

Lengthy-term plans are for taxes owed of lower than $50,000 and paying over a interval that’s longer than 120 days. Lengthy-term cost plans have setup charges. These charges might be waived for low-income earners. The charge for this plan is $31. Cost is completed by direct debit.

Lengthy-Time period Cost Plan with out Computerized Withdrawals

This plan is for these owing lower than $50,000 and needing greater than 120 days to pay their tax invoice. If for no matter purpose you may’t use direct debit and would reasonably pay by examine, card, or cash order, that is the cost plan you’ll need to select.

For that comfort, you’ll pay a setup charge of $149 as an alternative of $31. Be certain that the non-direct debit possibility is well worth the $118 additional. Low-income earners can pay a setup charge of $43, however might have it waived in the event that they meet sure situations.

Charges and Curiosity

An installment plan means you might have filed your return however did not pay. You’ll incur a penalty for failing to pay on time and curiosity will probably be due quantity on the quantity owed.


For those who don’t pay in full by April 15 and are accepted into an installment settlement, you’ll pay a 0.5% penalty on the quantity not paid. For those who owe $1,000, that’s a $5 penalty.

You’ll additionally pay 0.25% every month on the unpaid stability. Let’s say on $1,000 you arrange an installment plan to pay $100 every month. After the primary cost, the stability is $900. Curiosity on this quantity will probably be $2.25.


Along with penalties, you’ll additionally pay curiosity on any unpaid taxes and penalties. The rate of interest adjusts each three months. The rate of interest is the federal price plus 3%. If the federal price is 2%, the rate of interest will probably be 5%.

Setting Up Your Cost Plan

You’ll be able to apply for an installment plan on-line on the IRS web site: For those who owe lower than $10,000, your plan will routinely be accepted for those who additionally meet the next situations:

  • Over the last 5 years, you and your partner submitting collectively don’t owe taxes, haven’t entered into an installment settlement, and have filed on time.
  • You’ll pay due taxes in three years and adjust to all tax legal guidelines.
  • You’re not financially in a position to pay your taxes. Even for those who pays your taxes, an installment settlement continues to be accepted for those who owe lower than $10,000 and meet different standards.

For those who had an installment settlement through the earlier yr, it wouldn’t forestall you from coming into into one other installment settlement for the following tax yr so long as you’ve paid the installment in full earlier than taxes are due.

An installment plan with the IRS may end up in excessive charges, however the sooner it’s paid off, the less charges you’ll pay. For those who can repay your taxes due in 120 days, you gained’t incur a setup charge. That’s an additional 4 months to pay your invoice.

Penalties and curiosity will nonetheless accrue on the unpaid stability. As a final resort, you may pay the installment previous 120 days, however that is the most costly possibility.

Additionally, attempt to have it paid earlier than April 15 of the following yr otherwise you’ll have problem making an attempt to arrange a brand new installment plan.

Remaining Ideas

Whereas proudly owning cash to the IRS is not an excellent factor, organising a cost plan is a brilliant transfer. Moreover, be sure to file your taxes on time to keep away from much more penalties. 

Absolutely the worst factor you are able to do is just ignore it or keep away from it as a result of you may’t pay. They solely factor that may come of that’s owing more cash sooner or later, or worse – you can really go to jail. Now, that is uncommon, however truthfully, do not mess with the IRS!



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