Practitioners are likely to have clients who owe taxes to the IRS and who are unable to immediately pay the liability. Clients will turn to their CPA for help setting up a payment arrangement and for assistance in responding to various collection notices. At times, clients will need help dealing with serious enforcement actions, such as a lien (a claim against property to secure payment) or a levy (a property seizure or a salary garnishment). The AICPA offers the below resources to help practitioners advise their clients on IRS collection enforcement.
For additional guidance and tools on other IRS matters, see Representation and Examinations and IRS Procedure and Tax Administration.
Provides high-level guidance about various types of IRS payment agreements, such as installment agreements, short-term extensions, offers in compromise, and more. (Open to all AICPA members)
Gain insight into the OPA tool that allows your client (or you as an authorized representative) to apply for certain types of IRS payment agreements. (Open to all AICPA members)
Checklists, Practice Guides, and Templates
- IRS Collection Appeal Options Quick Reference Chart : Provides practical guidance about the Collection Appeals Program (CAP), Collection Due Process (CDP), and Equivalent Hearing (how and when to use each type of appeal procedures).
- 14 IRS Collection Issues for Practitioners to Consider : Addresses commonly violated and/or misinterpreted IRS collection procedures and helps practitioners understand their clients' rights; use it to effectively navigate collection issues.
- IRS First-Time Penalty Abatement: A critical component of IRS collection work is helping clients reduce and/or eliminate penalties. This resource page contains guidance on the first-time penalty abatement waiver and features our penalty abatement request template .
Videos, Webcast Archives, and Other Media
- Changes to IRS Collection Procedures: Are You and Your Clients Ready?: Starting in spring 2017, private debt collection companies under contract with the IRS will start working to collect overdue taxes; additionally, taxpayers could have their passport denied or revoked .
- IRS Explains New Private Tax Collection Program, The Tax Adviser, Dec. 2016
- Will Your Next Tax Appeal Be a Videoconference? The Tax Adviser, Oct. 2016
- Navigating the Murky Waters of IRS Payment Agreements, The Tax Adviser, July 2016
- Passport Revocation and Third-Party Debt Collection Provisions Enacted, The Tax Adviser, Feb. 2016
- Form 433-A, Collection Information Statement for Wage Earners and Self-Employed Individuals, and Instructions: Used to obtain financial information for a wage earner or self-employed taxpayer (often only used if specifically requested by a Revenue Officer; Form 433-F is usually the preferred form).
- Form 433-B, Collection Information Statement for Businesses, and Instructions: Used to obtain current financial information to determine how a business can pay a tax debt.
- Form 433-D, Installment Agreement: Mostly used by a business to request an installment agreement.
- Form 433-F, Collection Information Statement: Used to obtain current financial information necessary to determine how a wage earner or self-employed taxpayer can satisfy outstanding tax debt. Note: Not all agreements require a collection information statement.
- Form 656 Booklet: Used to understand and apply for an offer in compromise.
- Form 9423, Collection Appeal Request: Used to appeal various collection actions, such as a lien or levy.
- Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request, and Instructions: Used by individual taxpayers to request an installment agreement (often attached to a balance-due return).
- Form 12153, Request for Collection Due Process or Equivalent Hearing: Used to appeal various collection actions. Note: Evaluate the use of a CAP hearing versus a CDP hearing.
- Form 12277, Application for Withdrawal of Filed Form 668(Y), Notice of Federal Tax Lien: Used to request that the IRS withdraw a lien.
- Form 13711, Request for Appeal of Offer in Compromise: Used to appeal a rejected offer in compromise.
- Form 14134, Application for Certificate of Subordination of Federal Tax Lien: Subordination means the IRS gives another creditor the right to be paid before the tax lien is paid; use this form to request subordination.
- Form 14135, Application for Certificate of Discharge of Property from Federal Tax Lien: The IRS may discharge a tax lien from an asset to allow a sale to occur; use this form to request a discharge.
- Publication 594, The IRS Collection Process: Provides general information about collection notices and enforcement actions.
- Publication 1450, Instructions for Requesting a Certificate of Release of Federal Tax Lien: Provides guidance on helping clients obtain relief from a lien.
- Publication 1468, Guidelines for Processing Notice of Federal Tax Lien Documents: Provides information about the IRS lien processes to ensure that lien documents are timely filed and properly recorded.
- Publication 1660, Collection Appeal Rights: Provides general guidance on the various types of collection appeal options and how each process works.
- Publication 4518, What You Can Expect When the IRS Assigns Your Account to a Private Collection Agency: The IRS now contracts with private collection agencies to assist them in collection overdue tax accounts.
- Finding Out How Much You Owe: Used to determine a client's payoff amount and the balance for each tax year/period.
- Online Payment Agreement Application: Used to request certain types of payment agreements, such as a monthly payment plan.
- Offer In Compromise Pre-Qualifier: Used to see if a taxpayer may be eligible for an offer in compromise; enter financial information and tax filing status to calculate a preliminary offer amount.
- E-Services: Suite of web-based tools that allow practitioners and payers to complete certain transactions online; often most valuable to practitioners to request and receive client transcripts.
- Collection Financial Standards: Used to help determine a taxpayer's ability to pay a delinquent tax liability; includes national standards for food, clothing, and allowable living expenses and other expenses.
- Private Debt Collection: IRS guidance page offering information about the IRS's new program that authorizes certain contractors to collect, on the government's behalf, outstanding inactive tax debt.
- Private Collection of Overdue Taxes: IRS video explaining to taxpayers how to know when contact from a private collection agency is legitimate.
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Reviewed April 27, 2017