Taxation is an essential aspect of our society, funding critical public services and infrastructure. While paying taxes is a civic duty, navigating the complex tax codes and understanding tax obligations can be daunting. That’s where a seasoned tax attorney like Ron A. Stearns can play a crucial role.

With vast experience in tax law, Ron A. Stearns understands the intricacies of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) regulations and requirements. He is dedicated to guiding clients through their IRS obligations and the different tax resolution options available, to help alleviate stress, avoid potential legal pitfalls, and potentially save money.

Understanding your tax obligations is crucial for maintaining good standing with the IRS. Failing to pay taxes correctly can lead to penalties, liens, and legal trouble. However, life’s unpredictability and financial instability can sometimes lead to unexpected tax debts. If you find yourself unable to pay your taxes, it’s important to know that you have several options. Whether you can pay your tax debt immediately or need to negotiate a longer-term plan, a skilled tax attorney like Ron A. Stearns can assist you in determining the best course of action.

This guide will explore the various options you have when dealing with tax obligations and the ways in which Ron A. Stearns can assist you. From settling your debt in full to arranging installment agreements, Offers in Compromise, or even considering bankruptcy, it’s important to understand each avenue and how it can impact your financial situation.

You don’t have to face your tax obligations alone; with the guidance of a knowledgeable tax attorney like Ron A. Stearns, you can navigate these complexities with confidence.

Call us today at 210-853-2135.

Payment in Full

One of the simplest ways to resolve a tax obligation is through Payment in Full. This method involves paying the entire tax debt in a single payment, resolving your debt immediately. As straightforward as it may sound, it’s important to understand the nuances of this option, who it best suits, and why it’s often the most beneficial method.

The primary advantage of Payment in Full is the immediate resolution of your tax obligation. By paying the entirety of your debt promptly, you can instantly eliminate your tax liability, avoiding further accumulation of penalties and interest charges. The IRS charges both interest and penalties on unpaid taxes, so the longer the debt remains, the more you’ll end up owing. By settling your debt quickly, you avoid these additional costs.

Moreover, payment in full allows you to clear your tax record promptly, removing any associated liens or levies and restoring your financial freedom. It provides peace of mind, alleviates the stress of ongoing tax issues, and can improve your credit score by resolving any negative tax-related records.

However, this option may not be suitable for everyone. Payment in Full is typically most appropriate for individuals who have sufficient funds to cover their tax debt without causing significant financial hardship. For those with ample savings, assets that can be sold, or access to credit with an interest rate lower than what the IRS would charge, paying in full can be an excellent choice.

It’s also essential to note that even if you choose this method, but don’t have the full amount readily available, there are certain avenues you could consider. You might utilize a low-interest loan, home equity line of credit, or even a credit card to pay off your tax debt. These alternatives should be considered with caution and ideally under the guidance of a knowledgeable tax attorney like Ron A. Stearns, who can help evaluate the best way forward based on your unique financial situation.

Navigating tax payments can be complicated, but a tax attorney like Ron A. Stearns can offer the necessary expertise and guidance. His experience and understanding of the tax system can be invaluable in helping you weigh your options and decide whether Payment in Full is the right choice for you.

Installment Agreement

When you’re unable to pay your tax debt in full, one option available to you is to set up an Installment Agreement with the IRS. An Installment Agreement allows you to pay your debt in manageable, monthly installments over a period of time. It’s crucial to understand the intricacies of this method, the steps involved in setting one up, and its associated advantages and disadvantages.

An Installment Agreement is essentially a payment plan with the IRS. To establish one, you must first file all required tax returns. Then, you can apply for the agreement either online or by mail, using Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request. In general, you may qualify to apply online if you owe $50,000 or less. If you owe more, you will typically need to apply by mail or by calling the IRS directly. Keep in mind, the IRS charges a setup fee for these agreements, though lower-income taxpayers might qualify for reduced or waived fees.

One of the advantages of an Installment Agreement is that it can provide some immediate relief for taxpayers. Instead of having to pay a large amount all at once, you can spread your payments out over time, making it more manageable and less likely to cause financial hardship. Moreover, once the agreement is in place, the IRS typically halts punitive collection actions like levies or liens, as long as you continue to meet your agreed-upon payment terms.

However, there are also disadvantages to consider. First, interest and penalties continue to accrue until the debt is paid in full. This means the total amount you owe could end up being significantly higher than your original debt. Second, if you default on your payments, the IRS can terminate the agreement and resume aggressive collection efforts.

Working with a tax attorney like Ron A. Stearns can be incredibly beneficial when considering an Installment Agreement. He can assist in negotiating the terms of your agreement, aiming to establish a payment plan that fits your financial circumstances. He can also help ensure that you fully understand the terms and conditions of your agreement, helping to prevent any missteps that could lead to default.

An Installment Agreement is not the right choice for everyone, but for many, it can provide a realistic and achievable pathway to resolving tax debt. With the right guidance from an experienced tax attorney like Ron A. Stearns, you can navigate this process with confidence and clarity.

Offer in Compromise (OIC)

An Offer in Compromise (OIC) is a program offered by the IRS that allows qualified individuals to settle their tax debt for less than the full amount they owe. It’s designed to provide relief for taxpayers in situations where paying the full tax liability would result in financial hardship. However, the process of securing an OIC is complex, involves strict eligibility criteria, and it’s crucial to understand when this option is most beneficial.

An OIC might be a viable option if you cannot pay your full tax liability, or if doing so creates a financial hardship. The IRS will consider several factors, including your ability to pay, income, expenses, and asset equity, to decide whether your circumstances warrant an OIC. It’s important to note that the IRS typically only approves an OIC when the amount offered represents the most they can expect to collect within a reasonable period.

To apply for an OIC, you need to complete Form 656, “Offer in Compromise,” and Form 433-A (OIC), “Collection Information Statement.” These forms require detailed financial information, and you will also need to propose a payment amount and terms. There’s an application fee, and you’ll usually need to provide an initial payment, both of which are nonrefundable. The application process is quite comprehensive, and a decision can take anywhere from six months to two years.

Securing an OIC can significantly reduce your tax debt and allow you to arrange a payment plan that aligns with your financial capabilities. If your offer is accepted, you’ll have a fresh start in your relationship with the IRS and can avoid harsher measures such as liens or levies.

However, it’s important to note that not everyone will qualify for an OIC. The process is quite rigorous, and the IRS rejects a significant number of applications. Additionally, while an OIC can help eliminate a substantial portion of your tax debt, it’s not always the best or only solution available.

Given these complexities, it is highly advisable to seek the help of a knowledgeable tax attorney like Ron A. Stearns when considering an OIC. His expertise and familiarity with IRS procedures can guide you through the process, ensuring all paperwork is completed accurately and that you present the strongest case possible. Furthermore, he can help you explore other tax resolution options if an OIC is not the most suitable for your situation.

While an OIC can provide significant relief for some taxpayers, it’s a complicated process that requires careful consideration.

Temporarily Delay Collection

In certain situations, the IRS may agree to temporarily delay the collection of tax debts. This option can provide a short-term reprieve for taxpayers experiencing financial hardship, but it’s important to understand who might qualify, what it means for your debt, and the potential consequences.

When the IRS deems your account as “currently not collectible” (CNC), it means that they have determined that you cannot pay any of your tax debt due to financial hardship. This status temporarily postpones collection activities, allowing you some breathing room. To qualify, you must prove to the IRS that your monthly income is insufficient to cover your living expenses and your tax debt.

The process of getting your account into CNC status involves providing detailed financial information to the IRS. You’ll need to fill out a Collection Information Statement (Form 433-A, 433-B, or 433-F), detailing your income, expenses, and assets. It is a comprehensive review, and the IRS will scrutinize the numbers to verify if you truly cannot afford to pay your tax debt.

One major advantage of having your account declared CNC is that the IRS will cease any active collection activities. This means they will stop levies, garnishments, and other aggressive measures aimed at collecting your debt. It can offer significant relief for taxpayers struggling with financial hardship.

However, this relief is temporary. Interest and penalties continue to accrue on your outstanding tax debt, and the IRS will periodically review your account to see if your financial situation has improved and if you’re capable of paying. If your income increases, the IRS could revoke the CNC status and resume collection activities. Additionally, the IRS might file a tax lien against you, which could affect your credit score and ability to secure financing in the future.

While temporarily delaying collection can provide immediate relief, it does not solve your tax debt problem in the long run.

Penalty Abatement

Penalty abatement is a relief option offered by the IRS to alleviate some of the burdens of tax penalties that have been added to your tax debt. This option can provide significant financial relief, but it’s important to understand what it entails, how to qualify, and its potential benefits.

Tax penalties can accrue for a variety of reasons, including late payment or filing, failing to deposit taxes, and inaccuracies on your tax return. Over time, these penalties can add a substantial amount to your tax debt. If you’ve incurred such penalties, the IRS offers a way to potentially eliminate or reduce them through penalty abatement.

To qualify for penalty abatement, you must give a reasonable cause for not having met your tax obligations. This can include serious illness, natural disasters, erroneous advice from the IRS or a tax professional, among other circumstances. In general, the IRS is looking for situations beyond your control that prevented you from paying or filing your taxes on time.

To request penalty abatement, you need to write a penalty abatement request letter to the IRS, or call the IRS and request an abatement over the phone. In your letter, you should detail the reasons why you were unable to meet your tax obligations and provide any supporting evidence. It’s important to note that penalty abatement doesn’t reduce the original amount of tax owed, only the penalties accrued due to late payment or filing.

Obtaining penalty abatement can provide significant financial relief, especially if the penalties have been accumulating for an extended period. Reducing or eliminating these penalties can make it easier to pay off your tax debt and avoid further collection action.

However, successfully obtaining penalty abatement can be challenging. The IRS requires substantial evidence to support your claims, and it’s crucial that your request is presented correctly and persuasively. Here, the assistance of an experienced tax attorney like Ron A. Stearns can prove invaluable. He can guide you through the process, help compile the necessary evidence, and craft a compelling case for abatement.

Currently Not Collectible (CNC) Status

The IRS has a provision known as Currently Not Collectible (CNC) Status, which serves as a form of temporary relief for taxpayers experiencing financial hardship. It’s crucial to understand what this status means, how one can qualify for it, and what it implies for the taxpayer.

When the IRS classifies a taxpayer’s account as Currently Not Collectible, it means they acknowledge that the taxpayer doesn’t have the capacity to pay their tax debt at the moment. Essentially, the IRS temporarily halts aggressive collection activities, like levies and garnishments, against the taxpayer.

To qualify for CNC status, you need to prove to the IRS that your income is barely sufficient to cover necessary living expenses, leaving no room to pay off a tax debt. The IRS assesses this through a thorough review of your financial situation. You’ll be required to submit a Collection Information Statement on Form 433-A, 433-B, or 433-F, depending on your circumstances. This form details your income, expenses, and assets. The IRS will then scrutinize this information to ascertain if you genuinely cannot afford to pay your tax debt.

Obtaining CNC status can provide immediate relief by postponing collection activities. This cessation gives you the space to regain your financial footing without the threat of having your wages garnished or assets seized by the IRS. However, it’s important to note that this is a temporary solution. The IRS will periodically review your account to determine if your financial condition has improved enough to start making payments toward your debt.

While in CNC status, your tax debt continues to accrue interest and penalties. Furthermore, the IRS could potentially file a tax lien against you, which can impact your credit score and your ability to secure loans or financing in the future. Additionally, if your financial situation improves, the IRS can revoke your CNC status and resume collection activities.

Given these complexities, it is highly beneficial to consult with a tax attorney like Ron A. Stearns when considering CNC status. His expertise can guide you in accurately preparing your Collection Information Statement, dealing with potential IRS liens, and understanding the broader implications of this status.

Currently Not Collectible status can provide temporary relief for those in financial hardship, but it’s not a long-term solution to tax debt.


While not typically the first option for resolving tax debt, bankruptcy can serve as a last resort for some taxpayers. It’s important to understand when bankruptcy should be considered, its implications, and which types of tax debts can be discharged.

Bankruptcy is a legal procedure that allows individuals or businesses in severe financial distress to reorganize their debts or have them eliminated. It’s not a step to be taken lightly, as it has profound effects on your credit and personal finances. However, in certain circumstances, it can provide a fresh start and alleviate the burden of unmanageable tax debt.

Before considering bankruptcy, it’s important to determine if your tax debts are even dischargeable. Not all taxes can be wiped out in bankruptcy. As a rule, income tax debts may be discharged if they meet the following criteria: the due date for filing was at least three years ago, the tax return was filed at least two years ago, the tax assessment is at least 240 days old, the tax return was not fraudulent, and the taxpayer is not guilty of tax evasion.

There are two primary types of bankruptcy that individuals can file: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7, also known as liquidation bankruptcy, discharges most of your unsecured debts, including qualifying tax debts. Chapter 13, or reorganization bankruptcy, allows you to create a three- to five-year repayment plan for your debts, which can include tax obligations.

The implications of declaring bankruptcy are significant. It severely affects your credit score and remains on your credit report for 7 to 10 years, making it difficult to get credit, buy a home, or sometimes even get a job. Moreover, legal fees and court costs associated with bankruptcy can be substantial.

Bankruptcy is an option of last resort and should only be considered when all other avenues of tax relief have been explored and exhausted. Working with a tax attorney like Ron A. Stearns can help you navigate this difficult decision. He can assess your financial situation, help you understand the potential consequences of bankruptcy, and guide you through the process if it’s the best course of action.

In conclusion, while bankruptcy can provide relief from certain tax debts, it carries serious implications and is not suitable for everyone.

The Role of a Tax Attorney

The complex world of tax law can be daunting for most individuals, especially when faced with IRS obligations. A tax attorney like Ron A. Stearns plays a crucial role in helping taxpayers navigate this complicated terrain and find the best solutions for their specific situations.

A tax attorney is a legal expert specializing in the technical and complex field of tax law. They are ideally equipped to handle issues related to IRS tax obligations and can provide valuable services ranging from straightforward tax planning to representation in disputes with the IRS.

In the context of IRS obligations, one of the primary roles of a tax attorney is to advise on the best strategy for resolving tax debts. Given the various options available, each with its own set of benefits, drawbacks, and eligibility criteria, choosing the right path can be overwhelming. Ron A. Stearns can guide taxpayers through these choices, ensuring they understand each one and helping them decide the most advantageous course of action.

When it comes to intricate processes like applying for an Offer in Compromise or requesting penalty abatement, Ron’s expertise is invaluable. He can assist in accurately completing the necessary paperwork, crafting compelling narratives in request letters, and gathering the correct supporting documentation. His detailed knowledge of IRS procedures increases the likelihood of successful applications and negotiations.

If a taxpayer’s situation has escalated to the point where the IRS has initiated legal proceedings, Ron A. Stearns provides representation and defends the taxpayer’s interests. He has the skills and experience to negotiate with the IRS, contest unjust penalties, and potentially reduce the overall tax liability.

Furthermore, even after resolving IRS tax obligations, Ron can provide ongoing tax planning advice to avoid future issues. He can help taxpayers understand their tax obligations, strategize ways to minimize tax liability, and ensure compliance with IRS rules and regulations.

In conclusion, a tax attorney like Ron A. Stearns offers indispensable guidance through the maze of tax law and IRS obligations. His expertise enables taxpayers to handle their IRS issues more effectively, potentially saving them considerable time, stress, and money. Whether you’re dealing with current tax debt or planning for the future, the support and advice of a seasoned tax attorney are invaluable assets.

Frequently Asked Questions

An Installment Agreement with the IRS is essentially a payment plan that allows you to pay off your tax debt in monthly installments over a specified period. To qualify, you need to file all required tax returns, determine how much you can afford to pay each month, and apply to the IRS using Form 9465 or through the IRS’s Online Payment Agreement tool. It’s essential to consult with a tax attorney like Ron A. Stearns to ensure you set up an agreement that fits your financial situation and to negotiate the terms of the agreement with the IRS.

An Offer in Compromise is an agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS that allows the taxpayer to settle their tax debt for less than the full amount they owe. The process involves submitting detailed financial information to the IRS using Form 656-B. The IRS then reviews your financial information, ability to pay, income, expenses, and asset equity to determine if accepting your offer is in their best interest. Given the complexity and thoroughness of the process, having a tax attorney like Ron A. Stearns to guide you through the application can significantly increase your chances of success.

Currently Not Collectible (CNC) Status is a temporary status granted by the IRS when they determine that you can’t afford to pay your tax debt without causing significant financial hardship. While in CNC status, the IRS temporarily stops active collection actions. However, it’s important to understand that interest and penalties continue to accrue on the outstanding debt and the IRS may file a tax lien against you.

Not all tax debts can be eliminated in bankruptcy. Typically, only income tax debts are dischargeable, and even then, they must meet certain criteria, such as being at least three years overdue. Bankruptcy is a complex process with significant financial implications, and it’s recommended to consult with a tax attorney like Ron A. Stearns before making this decision.

Penalty abatement is a form of tax relief that eliminates or reduces penalties added to your tax debt. To qualify, you must demonstrate a reasonable cause for failing to meet your tax obligations. This might include serious illness, natural disasters, or erroneous advice from the IRS or a tax professional. The process involves submitting a written request to the IRS explaining your circumstances and providing any supporting evidence.

If you fail to make your agreed monthly payments or do not comply with your tax obligations during the term of your Installment Agreement, the IRS may terminate the agreement. At that point, the IRS can resume aggressive collection activities to recover the full amount of your tax debt.

While it is possible to negotiate with the IRS yourself, it can be a challenging and intimidating process. A tax attorney like Ron A. Stearns understands the complexities of tax law and IRS procedures and can advocate on your behalf. He can help ensure that your rights are protected, assist in completing necessary paperwork accurately, and negotiate more favorable terms.

Yes, the IRS may agree to temporarily delay collection if they determine that you can’t pay your tax debt due to financial hardship. However, this delay is temporary, and interest and penalties continue to accrue on your tax debt during this period. Once your financial situation improves, the IRS will resume their collection efforts.

The timeline for an Offer in Compromise varies based on the complexity of your case and the IRS’s workload. On average, it can take anywhere from 6 to 24 months for the IRS to review your offer and make a decision.

Ron A. Stearns can provide comprehensive guidance on navigating IRS tax obligations. His services range from advising on the best strategy for resolving tax debts, to assisting in applying for relief options, to representing you in disputes with the IRS. His expertise can help you make informed decisions, save time and stress, and potentially reduce your overall tax liability.

Ron A Stearns – A Tax Attorney You Can Trust

Navigating tax obligations with the IRS can be an intimidating endeavor. The stakes are high, the laws are intricate, and the procedures can be complex. However, understanding the options available for resolving tax debts is the first step towards regaining control over your financial situation. Options such as payment in full, installment agreements, offers in compromise, temporary delay of collection, penalty abatement, Currently Not Collectible (CNC) status, and, in extreme cases, bankruptcy, offer different pathways toward resolving tax obligations based on your unique circumstances.

While each of these options provides a potential resolution, they come with their benefits and drawbacks, and choosing the best course of action is often a decision that shouldn’t be made lightly. Factors such as the size of your debt, your current financial situation, your future economic prospects, and the urgency of your case should all play a role in your decision-making process.

In such complex and high-stakes situations, having the right guidance can make all the difference. A seasoned tax attorney like Ron A. Stearns can provide invaluable assistance in understanding and negotiating with the IRS. From advising on the best course of action to resolving your tax debt, to assisting with filing the necessary paperwork, to representing you in any disputes with the IRS, Ron’s expertise can provide the support you need to navigate your tax obligations effectively and efficiently.

With Ron’s help, you can approach your situation with clarity and confidence, knowing that you’re making informed decisions aimed at achieving the best possible outcome. His extensive knowledge of tax law and IRS procedures ensures that your case is handled with professionalism, diligence, and the necessary expertise to effectively resolve your tax obligations.

As a final thought, remember that facing tax obligations with the IRS is not an insurmountable challenge. Even in the most difficult situations, there are always options to explore and solutions to be found. By taking a proactive approach, seeking professional assistance, and carefully considering your options, you can successfully resolve your tax obligations and move towards a more secure financial future.

Call us Today!

Are you struggling with IRS tax obligations? Do you need expert guidance to understand your options and choose the best path forward? Don’t navigate this complicated and high-stakes situation alone. Contact Ron A. Stearns today for a consultation. With his expertise and dedicated assistance, you can effectively resolve your IRS tax obligations and secure your financial future. It’s time to take the first step toward resolution and peace of mind.

Contact Ron A. Stearns today at 210-853-2135.