Extracted from the irs.gov website.
January 22, 2014
Settling Your Tax Debt for Less Than Owed Through the Offer In Compromise
An offer in compromise allows you to settle your tax debt for less than the full amount you owe. It may be a legitimate option if you can't pay your full tax liability, or doing so creates a financial hardship. We consider your unique set of facts and circumstances:
We generally approve an offer in compromise when the amount offered represents the most we can expect to collect within a reasonable period of time. Explore all other payment options before submitting an offer in compromise. The Offer in Compromise program is not for everyone. If you hire a tax professional to help you file an offer, be sure to check his or her qualifications.
Make sure you are eligible:
Before we can consider your offer, you must be current with all filing and payment requirements. You are not eligible if you are in an open bankruptcy proceeding. Use the Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier to confirm your eligibility and prepare a preliminary proposal.
Submit your offer:
You'll find step-by-step instructions and all the forms for submitting an offer in the Offer in Compromise Booklet, Form 656-B (PDF). You can also view the "Complete Form 656" video. Your completed offer package will include:
Select a payment option:
Your initial payment will vary based on your offer and the payment option you choose:
If you meet the Low Income Certification guidelines, you do not have to send the application fee or the initial payment and you will not need to make monthly installments during the evaluation of your offer. See your application package for details.
Understand the process
While your offer is being evaluated: