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Know Your Eligibility for IRS Installment Agreements

Patrick Walter
Know Your Eligibility for IRS Installment Agreements

The Fresh Start Initiative provides people with much-needed concessions (both time and monetary) to pay their tax dues. An important relief was through the expansion of the Installment Agreement. An IRS installment agreement is a payment plan that offers time concessions to those having a hard time paying their tax dues. While applying for an IRS payment agreement requires passing a qualifying criteria, self-determining the eligibility criteria can be a daunting task, which is why you should consider a professional tax attorney to help you choose the best IRS installment agreement in Dallas or anywhere else. Read this blog as we discuss the basic eligibility criteria for each IRS installment agreement.

Streamlined Installment Agreement 

The Streamlined Installment Agreement is a type of installment agreement that doesn’t require you to provide any financial information. It is calculated on assessed taxes plus penalties and interest. You have to pay the dues within 72 months (6 years). To apply, you should:

  • Not owe > $50,000
  • Don’t have any unpaid dues in the past 5 years
  • Have not opted for an installment agreement in the past 5 years
  • Agree to payroll deduction or direct debit to avoid federal lien

Automatic Installment Agreement

It allows tax dues to be paid within 36 months. You can opt for the Automatic Installment Agreement if you:

  • Don’t have an IRS installment agreement
  • Owe ≤ $10,000 in the past 5 years
  • Don’t have unpaid dues or debts

The automatic installment agreement also doesn’t require you to provide your financial information to the IRS. Simply visit the official website of the IRS and fill out the concerned form.

Partial-Pay Installment Agreement

As the name suggests, under the Partial-Pay Installment Agreement, you will not be able to pay the entire amount that you owe before the end of the statute of limitations (10 years). Well, the IRS isn’t this nice and warm, the catch here is that while they allow you to pay less, for the time being, they’ll continue to monitor and analyze your tax returns every year or two to assess whether you are in a position to pay more to recover the prevailing dues. Unlike the Automatic and Streamlined Installment Agreements, the Partial-pay Installment Agreement requires an out and out disclosure of your financial information. 

  • You need to owe at least $10,000 in tax dues
  • Have no Offer in Compromise agreement
  • Have not filed bankruptcy
  • Have assets which can’t be liquidated and won’t cover debt

Regular Installment Agreement

If you fail to qualify for the Streamlined or the Guaranteed plans, you will have to resort to the Regular Installment Agreement, where you have to provide full disclosures to the IRS. It is based on your ability to pay, not how much you pay. You will have to pay back before 10 years and a lien will be filed against you. 


Understanding and analyzing your eligibility for the installment agreement can be complicated and chances are that you might end up misinterpreting the clauses. That is why it is crucial to consult a tax attorney nearby. For instance, if you are looking for IRS debt relief in Dallas, contact a trusted Dallas IRS lawyer that provides a 360-degree IRS tax solution. Look for law offices known for providing IRS tax help  for Dallas residents.

Patrick Walter
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