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What Are Your Chances? IRS Offer in Compromise Statistics

If you're struggling under tax debt, there are several options to achieve a clean slate with the government, one of which involves entering into an offer of compromise (OIC) with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Though a great option under the advisement and guidance of tax relief professionals, such as our expert teams at the Tax Help Network, OIC acceptance can often feel like an uphill battle. These statistics show that, though tough, there can still be hope in attempting to file a successful OIC.

While typically low, OIC acceptance is on the rise.

Qualifying conditions often contribute to the low acceptance rates of OIC submissions. In 2014, the IRS received 68,000 offers, 27,000 of which were approved. This represents a 40 percent acceptance rate. Though still low, with the help of the government's Fresh Start initiative in 2012, those rates have been on the rise. During the early to mid-2000s, acceptance rate hovered between 17 and 26 percent. Between 2009 and 2013, acceptance rates saw a 94.8 percent increase.

OIC dollar value has remained stable.

The dollar value of the average OIC has remained fairly stable over the years with 2014 reporting an average of $6,643.

Nearly $200 million in OIC's are accepted by the IRS each year.

While the acceptance rate for OIC's may be low, the IRS is reported to have accepted $195 million in offers in 2013 and $179 million in 2014, showing that, once accepted, the government honors the agreements put in place.

IRS communication with taxpayers is lacking.

An OIC can often be additionally complicated due to declining government resources that have stopped the IRS from reaching out to taxpayers. A study presented by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that the IRS failed to contact taxpayers by the agreed date in 73 percent of cases.

Changes in the OIC streamlining process have proven effective.

Taxpayers now have the ability to pursue streamlined IRS Offer in Compromise through contacting OIC staff via phone. These streamlined OIC's are, on average, processed 28 days sooner than non-streamlined applications.