Am I Eligible for a Second IRS Payment Plan? – Deb


Dear Steve,

While doing my 2012 taxes in 2013, I found I owed the IRS $5,500 more than I thought I did. It had to do with my retirement and taking a partial lump sum out AND not having the teacher retirement service remove enough. Ouch! I filed my taxes but could not pay. I waited for the You owe us now! Letter and called the number to ask (beg) for an IRS installment plan.

I was lectured to, put on hold, talked down to, and actually yelled at, but I was allowed to pay over time without more painful punishments, except for interest and fees, etc. I paid it off over time, in a little over two years, paying through Direct Debit from my checking–never late, never missed a payment.

I am retired, no job, own property, have a five year old car, and have since suffered injuries and health issues so that I do not work. I do receive a monthly pension payment. I just paid off this 2012 bill a few months ago in mid summer 2016. Now I find I owe for 2015. All other taxes have been filed on time or with an approved extension and I owe no other taxes to the IRS other than 2015 which I am about to file, without payment, on Oct. 17, 2016.

Can I ask for and be approved for another IRS installment plan for 2015 when I just had one in 2012…even though the one for 2012 is totally paid and all other taxes/fees/interest for my whole life have been paid?

Or is there a rule somewhere that says, No Way–if you have had an IRS installment plan in the past 5 years, don’t bother asking again, even if you all all paid up! AND, can I get this new IRS installment plan without much pain as in without: yelling, lecturing, heavy handed threats, filing out tons of financial paperwork, etc?

My friend, who is a lawyer says it should be fine, that they just want their money….and again I owe for 2015 about 4800.00, not 48000.00, so he thinks they will set up a payment plan but I’m biting my nails. Also, I will get a widow’s pension in about a year. If they set up a payment plan for me for longer than a year, can they take my whole widow’s pension to pay off this 2015 IRS plan? The widow’s pension is from social security.

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Dear Deb,

The good news is you should be absolutely fine. Jim Buttonnow, my tax expert friend with H&R Block, said “This is an easy one- yes, you can get into another installment agreement with a new balance. As long as the total new balance is under $50,000, the application and approval are easy- and can be done by phone. I am sorry she had to get such a hard time from the IRS- generally, this is very easy process.”

So while you might face some possible customer service hurdles with the IRS, the process exists for you to pay the new debt off over time with an IRS payment plan. For more information on IRS installment agreements or enrolling online, click here.


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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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