Meeting Your Tax Obligations: Ways to Pay the IRS


Meeting tax obligations is a critical part of financial responsibility, and the IRS offers various avenues for individuals to handle their tax debt, including payment plans and alternative strategies. It's important to note that while payment plans are available, they can lead to additional costs over time due to accruing interest and penalties, making them a less-than-ideal choice for some taxpayers. Let’s explore how you can navigate this situation:

Pay Taxes in Full

If you have the means to pay your taxes in full by the tax deadline, it's generally advisable to do so. This approach saves you money in the long run by avoiding setup fees, interest accrual, and financial penalties. Even if you miss the April 15 tax deadline, paying your taxes as soon as possible is essential.
Here are several ways to make payments to the IRS:

  • Use Direct Pay (requires identity verification).
  • Pay through your online IRS account.
  • Schedule a payment when e-filing.
  • Mail a check or money order.
  • Pay with cash at an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (by appointment).
  • Pay with cash at a participating retailer (up to $1,000).

IRS Payment Plans

For those unable to make the full tax payment by the due date, the IRS offers payment plans:

  • Short-Term Payment Plan: This plan allows you to pay off your tax debt over 180 days or less. While there's no setup fee, you will continue to accrue penalties and interest until the balance is cleared.
  • Long-Term Payment Plan: Individuals with tax debt of $50,000 or less (including taxes, interest, and penalties) can apply for a long-term plan. Payments continue until the debt is fully paid, with varying setup fees depending on the amount owed.

Revise an Existing IRS Installment Agreement

If you already have a payment plan with the IRS, you can revise it online to accommodate new tax debt. There's a $10 revision fee, but this may be waived for some taxpayers based on income.

Guaranteed Installment Agreement

Some taxpayers may qualify for a guaranteed payment agreement if they owe $10,000 or less and can pay in full within three years. To be eligible, tax returns for the past five years must be filed, and no prior tax debt should be owed.

Other Considerations

  • Timely Filing: Avoid late filing to prevent a failure-to-file penalty, which can add to your tax burden.
  • Offer in Compromise: Eligible taxpayers can settle their tax debt for less through an offer in compromise agreement. The IRS offers a tool on their website for individuals looking to see if they may be eligible for an offer in compromise:
  • Exploring Options: Borrowing from family or friends, or taking out personal loans, are potential avenues to consider. It's crucial to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of borrowing money, so it's essential to carefully evaluate all your options.

Consequences of Not Paying

Remember, failure to pay taxes on time incurs penalties. The penalty is 0.5% of unpaid taxes per month (up to 25% of total unpaid taxes). Additionally, the IRS may place a federal tax lien on your property or seize assets if no agreement is reached.
While dealing with tax debt can be daunting, acting sooner rather than later is crucial. If you're uncertain about the best approach, seeking guidance from a qualified tax professional can provide clarity and help you navigate these financial challenges with ease.


DJL Accounting & Consulting Group, Inc.
1570 South Canfield-Niles Road #C102
Youngstown, Ohio 44515 

Phone:  330 779 0781



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