When you are negotiating with the IRS about your back tax bill, you have to present an extraordinary level of proof to win them over to your side: documentation that you’ve been jobless for the last three years, or are caring for elderly parents, or were caught in the middle of a bitter divorce. And, if you invoke the “effective tax administration” clause of the Offer in Compromise program, you had better be prepared to tell your life story in extreme detail. You need to present an airtight case that paying the IRS would be tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment.

Why? Well, invoking “effective tax administration” usually means you are in a life-and-death situation: most often you are mortally ill, and have only a few weeks or months to live. But, it also could mean you were the recent victim of a natural disaster or some horrific event (say, your entire family was killed in a car crash).

The IRS approves very few effective tax administration claims, for the simple reason that one person’s “life and death” situation is another person’s awful, but still bearable, life event. For example, you won’t have any chance of winning an effective tax administration claim if one of your parents recently died, or if you were in the hospital for pneumonia. These are serious situations, but not so serious that they excuse you from paying your taxes!

How can you tell when your personal circumstances rise to the level of an effective tax administration claim? Well, a good first step is to contact the Oklahoma tax lawyers at Travis W. Watkins, PC (800-721-7054). We’ll investigate the details of your case and recommend a viable strategy for dealing with the IRS.

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