The right way to Set Up an IRS Fee Plan If You Cannot Pay Your Taxes

As a lot as we’d prefer to, generally it simply isn’t attainable to pay your total tax invoice all of sudden, particularly if you happen to owe just a few thousand {dollars}. Borrowing cash from a financial institution or members of the family might not be an choice.

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

It would 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 truly qualify for the plan.

For these of us who’re unfortunate sufficient to fall into the 21% who will owe taxes this yr (in response to Forbes), the IRS’ cost plan generally is a good choice 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 automated withdrawals and the opposite with out.

Brief-Time period Fee Plan

When you owe lower than $100,000 and pays your tax invoice in 120 days or much less, there gained’t be any setup payment to your cost plan. Curiosity and penalties will nonetheless accrue. You possibly can pay with automated funds utilizing your checking account, verify, debit card, or bank card.

You’ll incur extra charges when utilizing playing cards.

Lengthy-Time period Fee Plan with Automated 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 will be waived for low-income earners. The payment for this plan is $31. Fee is finished by direct debit.

Lengthy-Time period Fee Plan with out Automated 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 cause you possibly can’t use direct debit and would moderately pay by verify, card, or cash order, that is the cost plan you’ll wish to select.

For that comfort, you’ll pay a setup payment of $149 as an alternative of $31. Be sure that the non-direct debit choice is definitely worth the $118 further. Low-income earners pays a setup payment of $43, however might have it waived in the event that they meet sure circumstances.

Charges and Curiosity

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


When you 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. When you 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 can 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 can be 5%.

Setting Up Your Fee Plan

You possibly can apply for an installment plan on-line on the IRS web site: When you owe lower than $10,000, your plan will robotically be accepted if you happen to additionally meet the next circumstances:

  • Over the past 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 if you happen to pays your taxes, an installment settlement remains to be authorized if you happen to owe lower than $10,000 and meet different standards.

When you had an installment settlement in the course of the earlier yr, it wouldn’t forestall you from coming into into one other installment settlement for the subsequent tax yr so long as you’ve paid the installment in full earlier than taxes are due.

An installment plan with the IRS can lead to excessive charges, however the sooner it’s paid off, the less charges you’ll pay. When you can repay your taxes due in 120 days, you gained’t incur a setup payment. 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 possibly can pay the installment previous 120 days, however that is the most costly choice.

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

Remaining Ideas

Whereas proudly owning cash to the IRS is not a superb 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 solely ignore it or keep away from it as a result of you possibly can’t pay. They solely factor that may come of that’s owing extra money sooner or later, or worse – you may truly go to jail. Now, that is uncommon, however actually, do not mess with the IRS!

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