Paying the IRS in installments


Unfortunately, not everyone gets a refund during tax season. If you are in the unenviable position of owing a large amount of money to the IRS, you may be able to pay what you owe through an installment agreement.

With an installment agreement, the amount of your repayment will be based on how much you owe in unpaid taxes and your ability to pay that amount within the agreement’s time frame. Although you are generally allowed 72 months to pay, your plan may be for a shorter length of time.

To request an installment agreement, fill out Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request, and attach it to your tax return, or mail it by itself directly to your designated IRS Center. If your balance due is not more than $50,000, you can apply for an installment agreement online at

The IRS will generally let you know within 30 days after receiving your request whether it is approved or denied (if you apply online, you’ll get immediate notification of approval). If the request is approved, the IRS will send you a notice detailing the terms of your agreement. You will also be required to pay a fee of $120 ($52 if you make your payments by direct debit). You can make your payments by check, money order, credit card, payroll deduction, or direct debit from your bank account.

Keep in mind even if your request for an installment agreement is granted, you will still be charged interest and may be charged a late-payment penalty on any tax not paid by its due date. This interest and any applicable penalties will be charged until the balance you owe the IRS is paid in full.

It is important to realize the fees and interest charged by the IRS for an installment agreement can add up. As a result, before you enter into an installment agreement, the IRS suggests you consider other alternatives, such as getting a bank loan or using available credit on a credit card.

Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2016.

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