Tax Troubles? What Happens When You Can’t Pay

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As tax season approaches, many people find themselves in a position where they are unable to pay their taxes. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as unexpected expenses, job loss or reduced income. In this article, we will discuss what happens when you can’t pay your taxes and provide tips on how to navigate this difficult situation.

Tax Troubles? What Happens When You Can't PayTax Troubles? What Happens When You Can't Pay

Understanding the Consequences

Failing to pay your taxes can have serious consequences that go beyond simply owing the IRS money. Here are some potential consequences you may face:

  • Interest and penalties: If you don’t pay your taxes on time, you may be subject to interest charges and penalties that increase over time.
  • Wage garnishment: The IRS has the authority to garnish your wages if you owe back taxes.
  • Asset seizure: If you don’t make arrangements with the IRS, they may seize assets such as bank accounts or property in order to satisfy outstanding tax debt.
  • Ruined credit score: Unpaid taxes can harm your credit score and impact future borrowing opportunities.

What Actions You Can Take

If you’re unable to pay your taxes by the deadline or need more time, here are some actions that could help:

1) Apply for an installment agreement with the IRS – An installment agreement allows taxpayers who cannot afford to pay their entire tax debt upfront to make regular payments until it is paid in full.

2) File for an offer-in-compromise – OIC is another option where eligible taxpayers can settle their debt for less than they owe if they meet specific criteria.

3) Seek professional assistance – Hiring an experienced tax professional who works in resolving complex issues related with unpaid tax balance like a CPA accountants from companies such as H&R Block or Jackson Hewitt etc .

4) Review state-level relief options – Some states also offer payment plans which helps individuals not only agree upon payment amount but also forgo penalties and interests.


When it comes to unpaid taxes, there are ways to manage the situation. It’s important that you take action as soon as possible in order to avoid further negative consequences. Reach out for help from professionals or seek financial assistance so that you can get back on track with your finances before tax season approaches again.

By following these tips, you can better understand what happens when you can’t pay your taxes and how to navigate this difficult situation while minimizing its impact. Remember that timely payment is always the best way to go but if it isn’t possible then follow other above-mentioned steps to stay on top of a seemingly unsolvable issue related with unpaid tax balance.


Sure, here are three popular FAQs related to tax troubles and what happens when you can’t pay:

1. What happens if I can’t pay my taxes on time?
If you owe taxes but cannot pay the full amount by the due date, it’s important that you still file your return on time to avoid penalties for failure-to-file. You may also want to consider payment options like an IRS payment plan or an offer-in-compromise, which allows taxpayers to settle their tax debts for less than they owe.

2. Can the IRS seize my property if I don’t pay my taxes?
Yes, under certain circumstances the IRS has the authority to seize assets such as wages, bank accounts, real estate, and personal property in order to satisfy unpaid tax debts. However, before any collection action is taken by the IRS there are opportunities for taxpayers to set up installment agreements or make other arrangements with them.

3. If I owe back taxes and don’t file a return or contact the IRS about payment options what will happen?
The consequences of ignoring your outstanding balance owed could be significant. The IRS can assess penalties and interest on top of what is already owed every month until it’s paid off completely – including garnishing wages or levying bank accounts without warning after some period of delinquency. It’s recommended that taxpayers reach out at first notice from their agency sort through this issue with one of many free resources available online today (like contacting certified public accountants), who can assist in settling these matters so as not incur further costs down-the-line