Alert
Close

Top the Trizzle leaderboard by 5 p.m. Friday to win a $100 gift card! Learn more

Highlights

Close

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

AARP Books

Visit the Money Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.

webinars

Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming Money webinar or find materials from a past session. 

Jobs You Might Like

most popular
articles

Viewed

Can't Pay Your Taxes?

The IRS offers options for getting right with Uncle Sam

En español | It happens to the most honest of us. You make a financial decision or two that leaves you owing a hefty tax bill to Uncle Sam. Now the IRS is breathing down your neck. You want to pay. But you can't fathom where in the world the money's going to come from.

How to get tax foregiveness

Depending on your circumstances, you may be granted a short extension period to pay your tax in full. — iStockPhoto

Often, it's the self-employed who get into this trouble by missing quarterly payments and never catching up, says Greta Hicks, a Houston-based CPA who once worked for the IRS. But in these economic times especially, people of all kinds are getting behind. "Some have to withdraw [money] from retirement plans and IRAs. And then they owe taxes on that."

Do you owe the IRS right now? The first thing to do is open all mail from the agency so you're on top of the matter. Next, stay calm. Well, it's understandable if you panic a little, because the IRS wields power that can make your life miserable.

Depending on your situation, the agency can take your paycheck and your bank and retirement accounts, Hicks notes. And more: "They'll seize land, business assets, cars — anything they can auction and turn into cash quickly."

But all is not lost if you act now. Consider the following six strategies to get back in good graces with Uncle Sam:

1. Ask for more time. Depending on your circumstances, you may be granted a short extension period to pay your tax in full. You can request this by filling out an application for an online payment agreement or by calling 800-829-1040.

2. Try for an installment plan. If you owe $50,000 or less in combined taxes, penalties and interest, you can fill out the application for an online payment agreement. If your bill is more than $50,000, you'll also need to use paper form 433-A (PDF) (for self-employed individuals), 433-B (PDF) (for partnerships, corporations and limited liability corporations) or 433-F (PDF) (for your personal household taxes). Be prepared to divulge accurate financial details. Fees for setting up payment plans can range from $43 to $105.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Video Extra

Former U.S.Treasurer Anna Cabral talks about how easy it is to get involved with the AARP Foundation's Tax-Aide Volunteer Program.

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

The Cheap Life

Jeff Yeager Cheap Life Ultimate Cheapskate AARP YouTube web series save money

Catch the latest episode of The Cheap Life starring Jeff Yeager, AARP's Ultimate Cheapskate. Watch

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can get cash back rewards on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

AARP Financial Services

Info on saving for education from AARP® College Savings Solutions from TIAA-CREF.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.