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The Art of Installment Agreement Negotiations 

Installment Agreement Negotiations

The Art of Installment Agreement 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. 

Section 1: 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. 

Section 2: 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. 

Section 3: 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. 

Section 4: 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. 

Section 5: 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. 

Section 6: 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. 

Section 7: 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. 

Section 8: 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. 

Section 9: 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. 

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Table of Contents


 The simple answer is no. A business and a person are completely separate, thus, any personal tax debts or liabilities should not affect your business.

Tax debt can be an exhausting and complicated thing to deal with on your own. Communicating with the IRS and professionally handling your tax liabilities are just two of the services companies like Priority Tax Relief can offer.

No. The IRS’s Innocent Spouse Relief protects you from paying these additional taxes. However, this does not relieve you from household employment taxes, business taxes, individual joint responsibility payments etc. Priority Tax Relief helps you learn more about innocent spouse relief.

The most popular option to date would be an Offer In Compromise (OIC). At Priority Tax Relief, we help tax relief help become more accessible to taxpayers in need and help them understand how they can qualify for these options.

IRS tax liens are legal claims on your property when you do not settle your tax debts. The IRS usually sends out a notice when no payment has been made after a liability assessment. Find out more about tax liens with Priority Tax Relief.

Yes. Not only can the IRS put a claim on all your current property, tax liens can also affect any property or intangible or tangible assets that you obtain in the future. At Priority Tax Relief, we help you understand federal tax liens and how to communicate with the IRS.


Tax levies are the actual seizure of your property and are different from legal claims or tax liens. Settle your taxes before the IRS sends out a notice. Priority Tax Relief helps you understand tax levies and how you can avoid them.

Yes. Not only can they seize physical property but they can also legally take hold of the money in your bank account and other wages. To avoid this from happening, contact Priority Tax Relief now.

Your debt will, unfortunately, continue to grow and you will possibly lose a great number of your assets. It is definitely a scenario we do not wish to see happen to anyone, that’s why Priority Tax Relief makes sure that our help becomes within reach.

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