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What if I can’t pay my taxes?

Don’t panic. If you cannot pay the full amount of taxes you owe, you should still file your return by the deadline and pay as much as you can to avoid penalties and interest. You also should contact the IRS to discuss your payment options at 1-800-829-1040. The agency may be able to provide some relief such as a short-term extension to pay, an installment agreement or an offer in compromise, or by temporarily delaying collection by reporting your account as currently not collectible until you are able to pay. In some cases, the agency may be able to waive penalties. However, the agency is unable to waive interest charges which accrue on unpaid tax bills. For more information, see The Collection Process and Tax Payment Options. See the Form 1040 instructions on the About Form 1040 page for additional guidance on filing and paying your taxes.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 01-Sep-2016