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  • Writer's pictureBrian Barto

Back Tax Debt in Winchester, VA? Do you have a plan? | By Brian Barto, EA

Updated: Jun 19, 2021

If you have back tax debt with the IRS or State Tax Department, you need a plan on where to start. Resolving your back tax debt is a process. Always start with current compliance. Current compliance according to the IRS means having the last 6 years of taxes filed. The IRS will not begin to negotiate with you until you are in compliance and ALL 6 prior year tax returns have been filed.

If you wish to settle your tax debt for less than what you owe; See IRS Form 656-B. Form 656-B is the application for an Offer in Compromise. Are you eligible to file an Offer in Compromise? Compliance is just one criteria. For the most common type of Offer, ability to pay is another consideration. If you do not qualify for an Offer in Compromise, a payment plan or Installment Agreement might be your best option.

Note on compliance: If it is determined you have not filed all tax returns you are legally required to file, the IRS will apply any initial payment you send with your Offer in Compromise to your tax debt and return both your offer and application fee to you. You cannot appeal this decision.

Next step is to catch up on the current year. This is where most taxpayers make a mistake. Most are more concerned, and think it is more important to pay off prior debt before worrying about the current year. In order to be in compliance, all current year taxes must be paid and up to date. If you are working as a W2 employee, this means making sure your employer is withholding the proper amount of taxes from your paychecks. For a self-employed or sole proprietor, this means making estimated tax payments. Estimated tax payments are due Apr 15, Jun 15, Sep 15, and Jan 15 (of next year). Again, you are not eligible to negotiate any type of collection alternative until you have made all current payments.

It is important that you have a long term outlook on resolving your tax debt. Why? Because, once you work out a collection plan with the IRS, you will be expected to stay in compliance into the future or risk defaulting on your agreement you made with the IRS. To remain in compliance and not default on your Installment Agreement or Offer in Compromise, you must have enough withholding or estimated tax payments so that your tax obligation for future years is paid in full when you timely file your return.

Now you are ready to discuss a collection alternative to sort out the back tax debt. This is where the knowledge of a trained professional will serve you well. At Tax Debt Resolution Services of Winchester VA, our mission is to help you eliminate your IRS issues and the stress the IRS has created in your life and help you get back to doing what you do best! We help our clients in Winchester VA, Strasburg VA, Martinsburg WV and Charles Town WV to resolve their tax debts!. If you need assistance please feel free to contact me at 540-662-4432 or

Brian Barto, 24 Weems Lane, Winchester, VA 22601


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