A variety of factors may go into your decision to pursue or avoid an IRS offer in compromise. For some candidates, privacy is a chief consideration. If you count yourself among this growing group of taxpayers, it’s important to understand: offers in compromise are far from private. Accepted offers are a matter of public record, available for others to peruse as they desire.
The public nature of offers in compromise may be concerning, but it doesn’t automatically mean that such offers should be discounted altogether. Read on to learn what information, exactly, is available to the public — and how this information could impact your future, should you choose to proceed with an OIC.
What Are OIC Public Inspection Files?
After your offer in compromise has been accepted, the IRS will make a copy of the Offer Acceptance Report (Form 7249) available to the public for one year following the date of acceptance. This report includes limited information on your accepted offer, such as:
- Your name
- The city and state in which you resided at the time of the offer
- The liability amount
- Offer terms
Why Public Inspection Files Spark Alarm
At one time, OIC records were merely available in a paper format. While they were technically public, it took considerable effort to access these records. Since then, however, a proposal to place public inspection files online has sparked considerable concern.
Taxpayers are particularly worried in light of a report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, which suggests that approximately one percent of transcripts included in public inspection files contain redaction errors, often involving sensitive taxpayer information. These risks don’t necessarily warrant avoiding the OIC program altogether, but awareness is essential.
Not sure if the IRS offer in compromise is the right solution for you or your business? Alternate opportunities exist for resolving your tax debt. The trusted team at the Highland Tax Group can patiently walk you through your options to ensure you achieve the best possible outcome. Reach out today to learn more.