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What Different Kinds of Offer Programs Does Georgia Have to Settle Tax Debt

Have you ever wondered “What different kinds of Offer programs does Georgia have to settle tax debt?”  I’ll tell you.

Hi, I’m Jeff Fouts, a tax attorney located in metro Atlanta, with a state-wide, and nationwide, law practice helping clients who have serious Georgia tax problems.

So, “What different types of offer programs does Georgia have to settle tax debt?”

Three Different Kinds of Offers

The Offer in Compromise program that the Georgia Department of Revenue has shares some similarities with the IRS’s offer program, but there are differences as well.

Like the IRS, the Georgia program has three different types of Offers:

- the Doubt as to Collectibility Offer

- the Doubt as to Liability Offer, and

- the Economic Hardship Offer. The IRS’s version of this Offer is called the Effective Tax Administration offer.

This means that Georgia, like the IRS, recognizes three different ways they will accept a payment amount that is less than the full pay off amount of the tax, interest and penalties. That means they will consider the debt paid in full, even though you’ve paid less than the full amount, with no further collection action being taken against you.

Authority to Reduce Tax Liability

Employees of the Department of Revenue can’t, on their own without authorization, decide to “cut you some slack” or “cut you a deal” that allows you to be marked as “paid in full” even though you’ve paid less than the full amount owed.  They need special authority to do that, and they get that legal authorization from Code Section 48-2-18.1 Settlement or Compromise of Tax Assessment.

I will now talk about the three different kinds of Offers.

Doubt as to Collectibility Offer

There is the Doubt as to Collectibility offer.  This type of Offer is where you are basically saying, “I don’t have enough assets and income to pay the full amount of my tax debt.”

This means there exists a real doubt that you could ever pay the full amount of the tax debt you owe.  Georgia will consider this type of Offer when you can show them you are unable to pay the taxes in full either by selling your assets or through a monthly installment agreement.

Doubt as to Liability Offer

Next is the Doubt as to Liability Offer.  This second type of Offer is where you are saying, “I don’t believe I owe this amount of tax debt.”

This means there is a real doubt that you owe part or all of the tax which Georgia has assessed against you.

If you believe a proposed tax assessment is incorrect, you should not allow your deadline to file your appeal to expire without taking action.  This is very important.  The longer you wait, the less options you’ll have to challenge the assessment.

If you have missed the deadlines on other opportunities to challenge the correctness or accuracy of a proposed tax assessment, this type of Offer in Compromise may be the only option left available to you to challenge the validity of the debt.

Economic Hardship Offer

Next is the Economic Hardship Offer.  This third type of Offer is where you are saying in essence, “I owe the taxes, and the amount is correct, and I have enough assets to pay the full amount of the tax, but due to my exceptional circumstances, it would cause an economic hardship if you make me pay the full amount of the tax debt.”

Notice the difference in this type of Offer compared to the other kinds of Offers.  Under this Offer, you are saying that the tax is correct, and that if Georgia came after you to collect the tax that there is a high potential they would be able to collect the entire amount of the tax you owe.  But in addition, you are also saying there exists some circumstance in your life that is bad, unusual, or not typical, that would allow the Department of Revenue to consider accepting a reduced amount of tax from you.

You must show that if Georgia came and collected the full amount of the tax that it would cause an economic hardship to you.

As you can see, this type of Offer is different than the Doubt as to Collectibility Offer.

No Better Time

This is indeed a great time to deal with your Georgia tax problem.  Georgia has drastically changed the way it deals with taxpayers who owe delinquent taxes.

I believe these dramatic changes are due to the recession, and that once the economy improves, Georgia will have every reason to revert back to the old way they used to collect taxes, and gut their Offer programs to make them into the useless programs they were for the previous 20+ years before this change.

You will regret it if you let opportunity pass you by.

Conclusion

I hope this important video tip has helped you understand the Georgia Department of Revenue a little better and about how tax problems are solved.  Chances are you have questions or concerns about your own particular tax problem.  What I encourage you to do is pick up the phone and call me.  I can answer your questions.  Over the past 20 years I’ve represented clients all across Georgia, and in 50 states and 29 foreign countries, and I welcome your call.  You can reach me at (888) 995-6785 or by email at jfouts@taxhelpattorney.com.  I’m Jeff Fouts and thanks so much for watching.  Have a wonderful day.

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