Call for free Tax Review

The Art of Installment Agreement Negotiations 

Picture of Alisson Ward

Alisson Ward

Tax Professional | Content Writer

A professional tax advisor or accountant sitting at a desk, engaged in a discussion with a client about installment agreement negotiations. The advisor is holding installment agreement forms and explaining the terms, while the client is reviewing financial documents. The desk is organized with tax-related paperwork, a laptop showing installment agreement guidelines, and a bookshelf with financial books, indicating expertise and preparation for negotiations.

Dealing with tax debt can be challenging, but the IRS offers various solutions to help individuals and businesses regain control of their finances. One such option is the Installment Agreement (IA), which allows taxpayers to pay off their tax debt over time through manageable monthly payments. Here, we’ll explore the art of Installment Agreement negotiations, providing you with the knowledge and strategies to navigate this process effectively. 

Understanding Installment Agreements 

Before delving into the negotiation process, it’s essential to understand the basics of Installment Agreements: 

  1. What Is an Installment Agreement?

An Installment Agreement is a payment plan established with the IRS to pay off your tax debt in smaller, more manageable installments. It provides an opportunity to resolve your tax debt without a lump-sum payment. 

  1. Types of Installment Agreements:

There are different types of IAs, including streamlined agreements, guaranteed agreements, and partial payment agreements. The specific type you qualify for depends on your individual circumstances. 

Evaluating Your Eligibility 

To negotiate an Installment Agreement effectively, you must first determine your eligibility: 

  1. Total Tax Debt:

Calculate the total amount of your tax debt, including any penalties and interest. This will be the basis for your negotiation. 

  1. Income and Expenses:

Evaluate your financial situation, including your monthly income and necessary expenses. This information is crucial when proposing an IA. 

  1. Compliance History:

Ensure you are current with your tax filings and payments. Compliance history can affect your eligibility for an IA. 

Preparation for IA Negotiations 

Now that you’ve assessed your eligibility, it’s time to prepare for the negotiation process: 

  1. Create a Detailed Proposal:

Prepare a detailed proposal for the IA that outlines the terms you’re requesting. This should include the monthly payment amount and the total duration of the agreement. 

  1. Consult a Tax Professional:

Consider working with a tax professional, such as a certified public accountant (CPA) or tax attorney, who can help you navigate the IA negotiation process. Their expertise can be invaluable. 

  1. Know Your Rights:

Understand your rights and options as a taxpayer. This knowledge can empower you during negotiations. 

Negotiation Strategies for Installment Agreements 

Negotiating an Installment Agreement requires a strategic approach: 

  1. Open Communication:

Maintain open and transparent communication with the IRS throughout the negotiation process. Promptly respond to any inquiries or requests for information. 

  1. Be Realistic:

When proposing an IA, be realistic about what you can afford to pay each month. The IRS is more likely to accept an agreement that you can consistently maintain. 

  1. Payment Amount:

Your proposed payment amount should be based on your financial situation. It should cover your monthly living expenses while also addressing your tax debt. 

  1. Documentation:

Provide all requested documentation to support your proposal. This may include income statements, bank statements, and proof of expenses. 

Submission and Review Process 

After you’ve negotiated the terms of the Installment Agreement, it’s time to submit your proposal: 

  1. Application Form:

Complete the necessary IRS form for requesting an IA, typically Form 9465. 

  1. Supporting Documentation:

Attach all required documentation, including your proposal, to your application. 

  1. Application Fee:

Include the application fee, if applicable. Low-income taxpayers may qualify for a reduced fee. 

IRS Review and Acceptance 

Once your IA proposal is submitted, the IRS will review it: 

  1. Collection Actions Halted:

While your proposal is under review, the IRS will generally suspend collection actions, providing you with relief from ongoing garnishments and levies. 

  1. Notification of Acceptance:

If your IA is accepted, the IRS will send you a formal notice outlining the terms and conditions of the agreement. 

Fulfilling the Installment Agreement 

With your IA accepted, it’s important to adhere to the terms and fulfill your obligations: 

  1. Timely Payments:

Make your monthly payments on time and in the agreed-upon amount. 

  1. Maintain Compliance:

Continue to stay current with your ongoing tax obligations during the IA. Failure to do so could lead to default. 

Modification or Default 

It’s crucial to understand that modifications or defaults may occur during the IA: 

  1. Modification:

You may request a modification to your IA if your financial circumstances change. This could lead to an adjustment in your monthly payment. 

  1. Default:

If you miss payments or fail to comply with the IA terms, it may be considered in default, and the IRS can take collection actions. 

Seek Professional Assistance 

The art of IA negotiations can be complex, and professional assistance is often invaluable: 

  1. Tax Professionals:

Consult with tax professionals to help you prepare your proposal, navigate the negotiation process, and maintain compliance with the IA terms. 

  1. Legal Representation:

For more complex cases or those involving significant tax debt, a tax attorney can provide legal representation. 


Negotiating an Installment Agreement is a powerful tool for resolving tax debt and regaining control of your financial future. By understanding your eligibility, preparing a well-detailed proposal, and maintaining open communication with the IRS, you can increase your chances of securing a manageable IA. Seeking professional guidance is often the key to mastering the art of IA negotiations, ensuring a successful resolution to your tax debt challenges. 

Interested in tax relief?

Book your free consultation now
I acknowledge that by clicking “SUBMIT” I agree to be contacted via telemarketing calls and/or SMS/MMS text messages via telephone, mobile device and/or email. By doing so I waive any registration to any state, federal or corporate Do Not Call registry. I understand that calls to me and from me may be recorded for quality assurance purposes. I agree to receive approximately 10 messages every month and understand message & data rates may apply. Case results vary and are specific to each applicant qualifications. Call for complete details.
Get a free tax consultation:

Get a free tax consultation:

Do you have any unfiled tax returns?

Featured Posts:

Table of Contents

Need expert help? Looking to get back on track?

Share this post:

© 2024 All Rights Reserved.

*Priority Tax Relief (PTR) is a private company that identifies qualified consumers who require tax assistance. PTR is not a debt relief company. Costs and results will vary. Services are not available in all states. Check for service limitations and qualifications. RESULTS ARE NOT GUARANTEED. Hiring a tax resolution company is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements. PTR is not an attorney referral service. There is no charge for a consultation. Call for complete details

Book your free consultation

Book your free consultation

Do you have any unfiled tax returns?