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Available IRS Payment Plans – Part I

For the 2019 filing season, the IRS projects that more taxpayers than ever will file and owe. Many will be able to pay – but a lot of them will need to make other arrangements because they can’t pay their full tax bills to the IRS.

When taxpayers can’t pay their tax bills, they have a number of options, including payment plans, to pay off their outstanding taxes and accrued penalties and interest. Of the 16 million taxpayers who owe back taxes, 97 percent of them qualify to use a payment plan that’s fairly easy to set up and would likely give them the best payment terms.
The IRS has three simplified payment plans:

  • Guaranteed Installment Agreements (GIA): 36-month payment terms for balances of $10,000 or less.
  • Streamlined Installment Agreements (SLIA): 72-month payment terms for balances of $50,000 or less.
  • Streamlined Processing for Balances Between $50,000-$100,000: 84-month payment terms for balances between $50,000 and $100,000.

Advantages of 36-, 72-, and 84-month agreements
These are the three most common IRS payment plans. They’re all easy to obtain from the IRS, because they:

  • Require minimal, if any, financial disclosure to the IRS;
  • Don’t require an IRS manager to approve the payment terms;
  • Don’t require taxpayers to liquidate assets to pay the IRS; and,
  • Can be set up in one phone call or interaction with the IRS.

The GIA (36 months) and SLIA (72 months) can be completed online using the Online Payment Agreement tool at IRS.gov. The GIA and SLIA are also attractive to taxpayers who don’t want a public record of their tax debt, because these agreements don’t require the IRS to file a public notice of federal tax lien. Taxpayers who owe between $25,000 and $50,000 must agree to pay by automated direct debit or payroll deductions to avoid a tax lien.

The “Streamlined Processing” 84-month payment plan works a little differently. The IRS started the 84-month plan as a pilot program in 2016 to make it easier for taxpayers who owe between $50,000 and $100,000 to get into a payment plan with the IRS. Taxpayers can avoid filing their financial information with the IRS if they agree to pay their tax bill by direct debit or payroll deductions. If they don’t agree to these automated payments, the IRS requires taxpayers to provide a Collection Information Statement (IRS Form 433-A or 433-F). Even with streamlined processing, the 84-month plan has one catch: The IRS will file a federal tax lien.

The pilot program for the 84-month plan is still in effect today. The IRS hasn’t completed its study on whether the 84-month plan is an effective collection option. One thing is clear about the program: It likely provides better payment terms and relieves burden for taxpayers.

The rules
GIAs are for taxpayers who owe the IRS $10,000 or less. As the name suggests, the payment plan is “guaranteed” if the taxpayer meets all conditions of the GIA:

  • It’s for individual income taxes only;
  • Total balances owed, including penalties and interest, must be $10,000 or less
  • The taxpayer must pay within 36 months;
  • All required tax returns have been filed; and,
  • The taxpayer has not entered into an installment agreement in the previous five years.

SLIAs can be used by individual taxpayers who meet these conditions:

  • It’s for income taxes and other assessments, including unpaid trust fund penalty assessments;
  • The total assessed balance is $50,000 or less (not including accruals of penalties and interest after the original assessment of tax, penalties, and interest);
  • The taxpayer must pay within 72 months; and,
  • All required tax returns have been filed.

Taxpayers can set a GIA or SLIA by:

  • Using the online payment agreement tool at IRS.gov;
  • Filing Form 9465 with the IRS; or,
  • Contacting the IRS by phone

Terms may be shorter for old tax debt

Taxpayers should be aware that they may not get the full length of time to pay their outstanding tax balances if their debt is old. For each of these simple payment plan options, the IRS will limit the terms if the collection statute of limitations (generally 10 years from the date that tax is assessed) is shorter than the prescribed payment terms.

For example, if a taxpayer’s collection statute expires in 24 months, any GIA, SLIA, or 84-month plan will be limited to 24 months. Taxpayers who can’t afford these payments may have to consider a payment plan based on their ability to pay.

Ability-to-pay installment agreements require taxpayers to file a Collection Information Statement and prove their average monthly income and necessary living expenses. In addition, the IRS often asks taxpayers to liquidate or borrow against their assets to pay their outstanding tax bill in ability-to-pay agreements.

Fees apply
There is a setup fee for all IRS installment agreements. The fees range from $225 for installment agreements set up by phone and paid by check, to $31 for agreements set up online and paid by automatic direct debit. Taxpayers who meet low-income thresholds can get the fee waived.

Tips for all three agreements
The GIA, SLIA, and 84-month payment plans are usually the best way to set up a payment plan with the IRS. They’re usually quick and easy to set up and likely provide taxpayers with better payment terms than most other options.

Taxpayers who can’t pay according to the GIA and SLIA terms face tax liens if they owe more than $10,000. Taxpayers also need to request the GIA or SLIA before the IRS files a tax lien. After the lien is filed, taxpayers must pay their full balance to get the lien released, or pay down the balance to $25,000 to start lien-withdrawal proceedings.

Here are a few other tips related to these simple agreements:

1. Avoid a tax lien – pay down the balance to get into a SLIA. Here’s the best plan for taxpayers who owe more than $50,000: Get an extension to pay of up to 120 days, get funds to pay the balance down to under $50,000, and obtain a SLIA. Doing so will avoid the filing of a tax lien.

2. For SLIA, it’s the “assessed” balance – not the total amount owed. The $50,000 SLIA threshold is based on the taxpayer’s assessed balance – not the total amount they owe. The assessed balance includes tax, assessed penalties and interest, and all other assessments for each tax year. It doesn’t include accrued penalties and interest after the original assessment. For example, if a taxpayer’s original assessment is under $50,000 for an older tax year, he may accrue additional penalties and interest that puts the total balance over $50,000. In this situation, they would still qualify for a SLIA based on the original assessed balance. Taxpayers can also designate payments to reduce their “assessed balance only” to help them qualify for a SLIA.

3. Apply and pay automatically to reduce fees. The IRS increases installment agreement setup fees if taxpayers pay by check. Reduce the setup fee by agreeing to automatic direct debit payments. Automatic payments also avoid a monthly reminder letter from the IRS about the payment due.

4. Pay by direct debit or payroll deduction to avoid default. IRS installment agreements have a high default rate. To avoid a default, taxpayers must make their monthly payments. The best way to avoid missing a payment is to have the payment automatically deducted from the taxpayer’s financial accounts.

5. Don’t owe again. The second most common cause of defaulted installment agreements is filing future tax returns with unpaid balances. Taxpayers need to change their withholding and/or make estimated tax payments to avoid owing taxes that they can’t pay in the future.

6. Taxpayers can miss one payment a year. Most IRS payment plans allow taxpayers to miss one payment per year and not default. It’s best for the taxpayer to notify the IRS in advance if they can’t make a payment.

7. If the taxpayer’s financial situation worsens, get an ability-to-pay plan. Taxpayers can always renegotiate their payment plans if their financial circumstances change. For example, if a taxpayer loses their job, they may not be able to pay the IRS. In these cases, the taxpayer can contact the IRS and provide documentation on their ability to pay. This may mean a lower payment or even payment deferral (called currently not collectible status). Be careful here: If the taxpayer owes more than $10,000 and can’t pay within 72 months, the IRS is likely to file a tax lien.

8. Remember to ask for penalty abatement at the end of the plan. One important action to take at the end of a payment plan is to request abatement of the failure to pay penalty. Taxpayers should consider using first-time abatement or reasonable cause abatement if they qualify.

Each year, more than 3 million taxpayers get into a payment plan with the IRS. With tax reform, we can expect that more taxpayers will need a payment plan in 2019. Taxpayers who owe less than $100,000 should first look at 36-, 72-, or 84-month payment plans with the IRS. Many will also benefit from the help of a qualified tax professional to find the best option.

Need Help with an Installment Payment Plan?

 Contact the Tax Lawyers at 

Marini& Associates, P.A.  
 

 
for a FREE Tax HELP Contact Us at:

or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888) 882-9243 


 


 

Read more at: Tax Times blog

IRS Needs More $$$ To Close The Tax Gap

Read more at: Tax Times blog

Precious Metals Broker Sentenced to Prison for Willfully Failing to File Tax Returns

An Atlanta precious metals broker was sentenced to 21 months in prison following his Dec. 12, 2018, conviction by a federal jury on three counts of failing to file income tax returns. Hakim has been in custody since April 12, 2019. He was arrested and jailed after he failed to appear for his original sentencing date.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Saleem Hakim was in the business of brokering the sale of precious metals to clients. As a precious metals broker, Hakim received funds from clients, converted a portion of the funds to precious metals, and kept the remainder for his personal use.

For The Years 2011 Through 2013, Hakim Retained
In Excess of $1 Million 
 

Despite receiving income in excess of the filing thresholds and knowing his obligation to make and file tax returns, Hakim did not file any income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Hakim is going to prison, is to serve 1 year of supervised release and was ordered to pay $639,006 in restitution to the IRS and $4,603.28 in costs of prosecution.

Have an IRS Tax Problem?  

 Contact the Tax Lawyers at 

Marini& Associates, P.A.  
 

 

for a FREE Tax HELP Contact Us at:
or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888) 882-9243 



 

Read more at: Tax Times blog

Former Goldman Banker Extradited to US to Face Charges

Malaysia has extradited a former Goldman Sachs banker to the United States for 10 months to face criminal charges linked to a multibillion-dollar scandal.

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Roger Ng has been detained in Kuala Lumpur since Nov. 1, 2018 after the US Department of Justice (DoJ) announced charges against him for allegedly laundering funds diverted from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fund while he was managing director of Goldman Sachs.

A Malaysian national, Ng Chong Hwa, 46, also known as “Roger Ng,” has been extradited from Malaysia to the United States to face charges of conspiring to launder billions of dollars embezzled from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Malaysia’s investment development fund, conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by paying bribes to multiple government officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi, and conspiring to violate the FCPA by circumventing the internal accounting controls of Goldman Sachs.

In a three-count indictment unsealed last year, Ng, of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was charged with crimes he allegedly committed while employed as a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs "the Financial Institution", which underwrote more than $6 billion in bonds issued by 1MDB in three separate bond offerings in 2012 and 2013.

As alleged in the indictment, between approximately 2009 and 2014, Ng conspired with others to launder billions of dollars misappropriated and fraudulently diverted from 1MDB, including funds 1MDB raised in 2012 and 2013 through three bond transactions 1MDB executed with the Financial Institution.  As part of the scheme, Ng and others conspired to bribe government officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi to obtain and retain lucrative business for the Financial Institution, including the 2012 and 2013 bond deals.  They further conspired to launder the proceeds of their criminal conduct through the U.S. financial system.

Court filings further allege that Ng, Low Taek Jho, also known as  “Jho Low,” and the co-conspirators used co-defendant Low’s close relationships with high-ranking government officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi to obtain and retain business for the Financial Institution through the promise and payment of hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes. 

In the course of executing the scheme, Ng and others at the Financial Institution conspired to circumvent the Financial Institution’s internal accounting controls.  Through its work for 1MDB during that time, the Financial Institution received approximately $600 million in fees and revenues along with increased reputational prestige. At the same time, Ng and other co-conspirators at the Financial Institution received large bonuses and enhanced their own reputations at the Financial Institution. 

In Total, More Than $4.5 Billion Was Misappropriated From The 1MDB Bond Proceeds.

Low remains at large. The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Goldman Sachs is under scrutiny for its role as underwriter and arranger of three bond sales that raised $6.5 billion for 1MDB.

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The DoJ has estimated that $4.5 billion was misappropriated by high-level 1MDB fund officials and their associates between 2009 and 2014, including some of the funds that Goldman Sachs helped to raise.

Goldman Sachs has consistently denied wrongdoing and said certain members of the former Malaysian government and 1MDB lied to it about how the bond proceeds would be used.

The Department received significant assistance from:

  • by the government of Malaysia, including the Attorney General’s Chambers of Malaysia, the Royal Malaysia Police and NCB Interpol Malaysia,
  • the Attorney General’s Chambers of Singapore, the Singapore Police Force-Commercial Affairs Division,
  • the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland,
  • the Judicial Investigating Authority of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Criminal Investigation Department of the Grand-Ducal Police of Luxembourg.

The International Unit of the Criminal Division’s MLARS is home to the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative a team of dedicated prosecutors working to prosecute individuals and forfeit the proceeds of foreign official corruption that has affected the U.S. financial system and, where appropriate, return those proceeds to benefit the people harmed by these acts of corruption and abuse of office.

MLARS’s Bank Integrity Unit investigates and prosecutes banks and other financial institutions, including their officers, managers, and employees, whose actions threaten the integrity of the individual institution or the wider financial system.

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Sources

DoJ

NY Post

US News

 

Read more at: Tax Times blog