Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Dreaded IRS Form 433F--The Saga Continues

This post has been included in Tax Carnival #43 at Don't Mess with Taxes. For lots more tax cheer, head on over after you've rounded up all you can here.

Photo by Scot Campbell

About six weeks ago, in response to a request from the IRS, I started documenting my income and expenses on Form 433-F or Collection Information Statement. Unfortunately, lots of stuff happens around here in October and I didn't get it done until yesterday, so I had to start over.

The back story on this project is that I couldn't pay my federal taxes, and I tried to work out a payment agreement. The problem is the IRS thinks I can pay more than I think I can pay. So they reasonably asked me to document what I have and what I spend. The process is similar to applying for a mortgage--in other words, involved. And it was the same information requested in my interviews with the debt counseling folks. (I describe my differing results: greater success and not so much success) in earlier posts.)

I learned something in filling out the form that I will pass along to folks in a similar situation. First, the IRS reps will try to get you to answer the questions on the phone about your income and expenses and assets. Don't do it. It's too complicated. Request that they send you the form, take your time, and document everything accurately.

Second, you don't have to know exactly what your expenses are. After looking up the IRS's own national standards, I discovered I was UNDERestimating our expenses. The rules allow you to claim national and regional standards for some items.

So, I don't know how this will all turn out, but for now, I'm glad that I got this piece done and hopeful I didn't forget to put anything in the packet.

Incidentally, you can tell the frugality bug has hit me because I was annoyed that it cost over $4 to send the package. Wow. $4. When did postage go up so much?

Note:  To find out what happened next, see this post.
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LittleFlower1220 said...

Hi, we are going through all the same steps as you, except that we had to skip the Debt Management because 9 days before our appointment to begin it, my hubby was "let go" of his job. So now we are looking at bankruptcy! Anyway, I was wondering if you could tell me where you sent this form because we sent it back in October of last year and they "never received it". I've searched everywhere and can't find an address. You'd think the instructions attached to the PDF would state this clearly. Let me know please. Thank you! :)

Polly Poorhouse said...

Strangely enough, this is the most popular post on my site. Apparently the IRS is not very good about telling people where to send their 433-F forms. I know that I sent it once to the address given me by the agent, and it never arrived, and I was given another address by the next agent. So a pointer: make sure that you ask your contact at the IRS exactly where to send the form and your documentation. AND, make sure to get their full name and contact information.

The most frequently used search terms at Economic Crunch are "where to send IRS Form 433F". Sorry I don't know the answer, but something is wrong with the system if I end up being the expert.

Filing Back Taxes said...

This form can be tough...use a tax pro.

Anonymous said...

I'm in the same situation. I have found that the best thing to do (if at all possible) is to hand deliver the form to the closest IRS office. They will make a copy for you and stamp the date on the form.

Anonymous said...

Do you know what the chances are of them taking an offer, and what percent of the amount owed might they accept?

Anonymous said...

this is the address I got 6-18-12
P-4 stop 5050
P.O. Box 219236
Kanas city, MO. 64121--9236

scott davidson said...

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