How Fast Do IRS Tax Relief Programs Work?

With many businesses and individuals suffering from the economic impact of the coronavirus and high inflation, it’s no wonder that millions of Americans currently struggle with tax debt. If you believe that it will be difficult for you to pay your taxes, you may be eligible for one of the IRS tax relief programs. Within several weeks or months, your bill could be reduced or spread out, which provides you with some much-needed assistance.

Because there are several different options, there isn’t one set timeline. How long it takes for you to be relieved of your tax burden depends on your individual situation, whether it’s easy for you to prove your inability to pay the full amount, and which program you are eligible for. Today, we’ll have a closer look at the various forgiveness programs and what kinds of results you can expect.


If you’re worried about your tax debt, you’ll want to receive relief as quickly as possible. But because there is a lot of paperwork involved, it often takes several months for you to get a reply from the IRS.

People who have a specific reason for their trouble, such as the death of a loved one or a severe illness, can sometimes get their requests fast-tracked. Similarly, those with a small amount of debt who are able to pay off their taxes within six years won’t have to wait long for their installment agreement.

Offer in Compromise

The offer in compromise is one of the most sought-after tax relief programs because it allows you to negotiate with the IRS. If you are unable to pay your full tax debt in the foreseeable future, the IRS may be willing to reduce your burden and allow you to pay less than the original amount. Unfortunately, more than half of the OIC applications are rejected, so you need to build a very strong case.

Depending on your individual circumstances, it can take around four to six months for the IRS to come to a decision about your offer in compromise. The more information you provide at the start of the process, the faster you can expect a result. To make sure you get a good outcome and there are no unnecessary delays, you’ll have to work with a highly qualified tax advisor who can fill in the necessary forms for you.

Installment Agreement

Almost everyone who owes less than $50,000 can receive an installment agreement, which allows them to spread their debt over 72 months. This process is relatively straightforward, and you can expect it to be completed within a few weeks. But if you owe more than this or you believe you can’t pay off your debt within six years, you will need to negotiate with the IRS, which can take several months.

A competent tax resolution specialist can help you complete the necessary paperwork and lay out your case in a positive way. You will need to propose a payment plan that works for both you and the IRS. Make sure you’ll be able to come up with your payments reliably since you could be worse off if you skip them or are unable to pay.

Currently Not Collectible

People who don’t have an income or whose expenses are higher than their earnings could benefit from “currently not collectible” status. This allows them to pay nothing as long as their situation doesn’t change. The main benefit of CNC status is that you won’t face the harsh consequences of owing the IRS, which include wage garnishment and the seizure of your property.

When you contact your tax professional, they will let you know whether you’re eligible for CNC status. Certain people, for example, those who have a life-threatening illness or those whose close family member passed away, could have their application fast-tracked and see quick results. If you don’t fall into one of the priority groups, it could take several months for you to receive your currently not collectible status.

Innocent Spouse Relief

Not everyone who is behind on their payments is responsible for the issue that caused their debt. If your spouse caused the problem and you weren’t aware of their actions, you can almost certainly benefit from the IRS tax relief programs. Innocent spouse relief is designed for those people whose partner has accumulated tax debt without their knowledge.

While it can take around six months for the IRS to get back to you, it’s worth it because you won’t have to pay any tax once you’ve benefitted from this program. You can start fresh, and your spouse will have to come up with the money instead.

Penalty Forgiveness

The reason why so many people struggle with tax debt is that the IRS charges fees and penalties if you fail to come up with the money on time. People who delay filing their tax return have to pay an additional 5% each month, and those who file but don’t pay face a 0.5% monthly fee. Both these penalties are capped at 25% of your total bill, but they can still represent a significant financial burden. Additionally, there is interest which compounds daily.

Often, getting your penalties reduced or eliminated is one of the easiest ways of receiving tax relief. This is especially true if you’ve never had trouble with the IRS before or if you have reasonable cause, such as a death in the family that prevented you from filing on time. If you have a strong reason for requesting abatement, you could receive relief quickly, but if your situation is complicated, it could take longer.


Most likely, you will spend several months filling out the necessary paperwork and negotiating with the IRS. To make sure that you receive the desired outcome at the end of this process, you should hire a highly experienced tax resolution specialist. This professional can analyze your situation and then let you know which of the above-mentioned programs is the most suitable for you.

Once you and your specialist have made a decision, you can compile the necessary information and file the paperwork. To prove that you are having trouble with your payments, you might need to provide information about your income, expenses, and assets. Your tax professional can help you make sure you file everything correctly and on time, so there are no unnecessary delays.


Although the IRS is strict and has immense collection power, they do offer help to people who genuinely can’t pay their debt due to changing circumstances or issues that are out of the taxpayer’s control. There are various ways of receiving help with your taxes, and your specialist can help you decide which one is most suitable for you. Depending on the method chosen, it could take several weeks or months until you receive an outcome.

For people struggling to pay their taxes, the benefits of IRS tax relief programs are immense. They can halt the collection process, thus allowing the taxpayer to keep their property and wages, which might otherwise go to the IRS. Get in touch with us now at Geaux Tax Resolution to find out more and discuss your situation with a specialist. We will be happy to help you figure out which forgiveness program is suitable for you.

Share on:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *