For smaller balances, taxpayers can use collection voice bots recently implemented by the IRS, said Miri Forster, partner and national tax controversy leader at Eisner Advisory Group in Iselin, N.J. “These bots have been successful at quickly establishing short-term and long-term payment plans by phone, and for modifying and extending payment plans in some cases,” she added.

“One of the biggest misconceptions,” Espey said, “is that not every case can be resolved via a quick call to the IRS to simply strike a deal. A detailed financial statement will almost always be required” in either the case of debt or dispute."

“Don’t believe all the commercials” that promise to quickly and easily resolve IRS debt, Forster said. “Taxpayers must submit detailed financial information on their assets and liabilities, along with supporting documentation, before the IRS will consider a payment plan or an offer in compromise.”

Pennies on the dollar “in a sense” can happen through an offer-in-compromise, Mesko said, but it’s “a cumbersome process that considers taxpayer’s current assets, liabilities, potential earnings, monthly income and living expenses. In the end it’s a calculation and only a small number of taxpayers fit into the window in which the IRS would accept an offer made by the taxpayer to settle the tax debt at a lower amount.

“Finding the correct method to resolve the debt and fully satisfy the liability can take months and even years,” Mesko added, but “act fast when an IRS notice is received. Most notices have a deadline to respond or to pay.”

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