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How Will I Be Able to Repay the IRS?

Written by Steve Rhode


Dear Steve,

Hi Steve- I am a 57 year old single father and am in a lot of debt- and just did my taxes and owe the IRS $3500 which I do not have. I accumulated too much credit card debt and can barely afford to put food on the table after bills are paid.

I had to pay taxes two years ago to the IRS ($1500) and paid them off in 1 year. Will I be able to go on a payment plan with them that exceeds 12 months?

If it’s 1 year I won’t have enough money to feed myself and my daughter (She’s a college student who works part time but barely makes enough to pay for her own gasoline!) Will the IRS allow me to pay this off over a few years?

I will not be able to pay this in 12 months for sure and am losing sleep over this. I am in a ton of credit card debt mostly taking care of my daughter’s stuff and college.



Dear Jody,

I’m so sorry to hear your money worries are stressing you out. I remember those days. Yuck.

The good news on the IRS payment agreement is you can enter it online and have up to 72 months. The IRS even has a video by Becky that explains how the online payment agreement works.

But your question makes me worried there are greater issues brewing. It sounds as if you’ve been drowning and using the cards to make up for money you have not had. The vicious cycle begins when that happens and soon you can’t make it through the month more and more and the balances start to accelerate.

It also sounds as if you are under-withholding on your taxes which puts more money in your pocket each month.

It might be time to get all of this reset and back on track. If that sounds like a reasonable way to move forward then I would suggest you meet with a local bankruptcy attorney who is licensed in your state.

READ  It's Been So Long. Do We Still Owe the IRS? - Sam

Discharging the credit card debt would give you the fresh start the law allows you to have. You could then adjust your withholdings so you are not looking at more future tax bills. Finally, you can have a second chance of living again within your income and not gazing further and further into a financial black hole.

Keep in mind the goal on taxes is to not let the government have your money for free each month and then issue you a big refund, nor to owe the government a big tax bill at the end of the year.

Right about now, you and others, are having some internal assumptions firing off about bankruptcy. But before you dismiss the concept you need to know most of what you assume about bankruptcy is just not true.

If you are willing to learn the truth, please click here and pull up a chair. There is so much you will learn.

But if you only have time to read two articles, I would suggest you read Those That File Bankruptcy Do Better Than Those That Don’t and So You Are Going to File Bankruptcy. That’s Great News. Congratulations.

Choice1 Choice2 Choice3 Big Hug!
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About the author

Steve Rhode

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.


  • Steve- Jody here again. I forgot to mention that I filed bankruptcy 5 years ago- and for awhile was in good shape. My problem is I have too soft a heart when it came to my daughter. She is still in college and apparently I forgot all the stuff I learned by going through bankruptcy 5 years ago- and whenever my daughter was stuggling or needed something I was always there to the rescue. Her mom never was there when my daughter needed things- College? I had to take parent plus loan after parent plus loan. I owe about $40,000 in parent plus loans in addition to $3500 to the IRS – so I am struggling to make ends meet, I actually called my bankruptcy attorney and he said I can file again- but the laws changed and I cannot file until August 2018. So I have at least another 2.5 years to go and must find a way to survive. Yes I have to change my withholding- I had been claiming 4 and need to change that to 1 or 2 at most to avoid this disaster again. I work my tail off- at least 50 hrs every week but it all goes to credit cards. And yes- I pay them and then am short for food and end up using them again for gas and or food. I wonder if going to CCCS would be a route now since I cannot do bankruptcy again for at least 2.5 years. I just cannot keep living like this because I don’t sleep well worrying about my future. My health is bad too- as I contacted Lyme Disease 2 summers ago and stll suffer from it as my doctor could not cure it- just palliate it.

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