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Unveiling the Truth: Is IRS Tax Settlement Real or Just a Myth?

When it comes to dealing with taxes, there’s always a sense of anxiety and uncertainty. One particular area that often confuses taxpayers is IRS tax settlement. Many people wonder if it’s a real option or just a myth. In this article, we will delve into the world of tax debt settlement, explore its intricacies, and uncover the truth behind its existence.

The Basics of IRS Tax Settlement

Before we determine whether IRS tax settlement is real or not, let’s first understand what it entails. Tax debt settlement, also known as an Offer in Compromise (OIC), is a program offered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that allows taxpayers to potentially settle their tax debts for less than the full amount owed. It is designed to provide relief to individuals who are unable to pay their tax liabilities in full.

The IRS evaluates each taxpayer’s financial situation and considers factors such as income, expenses, assets, and future earning potential to determine if they qualify for a tax settlement. If approved, the taxpayer can resolve their tax debt by paying a reduced amount, which can provide much-needed financial relief.

Is IRS Tax Settlement Real or Just a Myth?

Now, let’s address the burning question: is IRS tax settlement real or just a myth? The answer is simple: tax debt settlement is very much real. However, it’s important to note that not everyone will qualify for this program. The IRS has strict eligibility criteria and carefully reviews each case before making a decision.

To qualify for tax settlement, you must demonstrate that paying the full amount of your tax debt would cause significant financial hardship. This means presenting detailed financial information, including income, expenses, and assets, to support your claim. The IRS will assess your ability to pay and may accept a settlement offer if it’s reasonable and in line with their guidelines.

The Process of IRS Tax Settlement

If you meet the eligibility requirements for IRS tax settlement, the next step is to understand the process involved. The process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Consultation: Seek professional advice from tax experts or a tax settlement company to assess your situation and determine if you qualify for tax settlement.
  2. Preparation: Gather all the necessary financial documentation, including income statements, bank statements, and tax returns, to support your case.
  3. Submission: Prepare and submit the required forms, including Form 656, Offer in Compromise, along with the necessary supporting documents to the IRS.
  4. Evaluation: The IRS will review your submission, verify the information provided, and assess your eligibility for tax settlement.
  5. Negotiation: If your offer is deemed reasonable, the IRS will enter into negotiations with you to determine an acceptable settlement amount.
  6. Resolution: If an agreement is reached, you must fulfill the terms of the settlement by making the agreed-upon payments within the specified timeframe.

It’s important to note that the process can be complex and time-consuming. Seeking professional assistance can greatly increase your chances of success.

Pros and Cons of Using a Tax Settlement Company

When considering an Offer in Compromise, many taxpayers turn to tax settlement companies for assistance. These companies specialize in helping individuals navigate the settlement process. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons before deciding if a tax settlement company is right for you.


  • Expertise: Tax settlement companies have experienced professionals who understand the intricacies of the tax system and can guide you through the process.
  • Negotiation skills: These companies have experience negotiating with the IRS and may be able to secure a more favorable settlement on your behalf.
  • Time-saving: Dealing with the IRS can be time-consuming. Using a tax debt settlement company can free up your time and allow you to focus on other aspects of your life.


  • Cost: Tax settlement companies charge fees for their services, which can be substantial. You need to weigh the cost against the potential benefits they offer.
  • Unscrupulous companies: Not all tax settlement companies are reputable. Some may make false promises or engage in unethical practices. It’s crucial to do thorough research and choose a reputable company.

Ultimately, the decision to use a tax settlement company is a personal one. Consider your specific circumstances, budget, and level of comfort in navigating the IRS settlement process on your own.

Common Misconceptions about IRS Tax Settlement

There are several misconceptions surrounding IRS tax settlement that are important to address. Let’s debunk some of these common myths:

  1. IRS tax settlement is a guaranteed solution: IRS tax settlement is not a guaranteed solution for everyone. The IRS carefully evaluates each case and determines eligibility based on specific criteria.
  2. A tax settlement eliminates all tax debt: While IRS tax settlement can significantly reduce your tax debt, it does not automatically eliminate all of it. The IRS will only accept a reasonable offer based on your financial situation.
  3. Tax settlements are a quick fix: The process of IRS tax settlement can be time-consuming and may take several months to complete. It requires careful preparation and negotiation.
  4. Anyone can qualify for IRS tax settlement: Not everyone will qualify for IRS tax settlement. The IRS has strict eligibility criteria, and it’s important to assess your financial situation before pursuing this option.

Alternatives to IRS Tax Settlement

If you find that you do not qualify for IRS tax settlement or if it’s not the right option for you, there are alternatives to consider.

  1. Installment Agreement: This option allows you to pay your tax debt in monthly installments over an extended period of time. It provides a more manageable payment plan for those who cannot pay their tax debt in full immediately.
  2. Currently Not Collectible (CNC) status: If you are experiencing financial hardship and are unable to pay your tax debt, you may qualify for CNC status. This temporarily suspends collection efforts by the IRS until your financial situation improves.
  3. Appeals: If you believe that the IRS has made an error in assessing your tax debt, you can file an appeal to challenge their decision. This can be a lengthy process but may result in a reduction or elimination of your tax debt.

IRS tax settlement is not a myth but a real option for individuals who are facing financial hardship and are unable to pay their tax debts in full. It’s a complex process that requires careful preparation and negotiation. While using a tax settlement company can be helpful, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons and consider your specific circumstances. Remember to explore alternatives to IRS tax settlement if it’s not the right option for you. By making an informed decision, you can navigate the world of IRS tax settlement with confidence and potentially find relief from your tax debt.