IRS Collection Guidance and Resources

December 13, 2016

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.

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Featured Resources

Checklists, Practice Guides, and Templates

Videos, Webcast Archives, and Other Media

External Guidance

IRS Forms

IRS Publications

IRS Tools

  • 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.

Other Resources

  • 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