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Cannot pay my offer in compromise

San Francisco, CA |

Approx Oct 2012 I sent the state an Offer In Compromise ( California ) . I can longer pay it . My mother was going to lend me the $ but she is now 84 , in poor health and the $ has to be used for an in - home nurse . I am unemployed and haven't been able to find work for over a year . I am in retail . I will be 62 in August and am getting the last couple months of my unemployment . I also have depression . I cannot pay the SIC but need to know what to tell them .

Would like to know how long they can come after me and how to figure out the starting date.

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Attorney answers 3


Call the person at the FTB with whom you made the deal. Tell him or her the problem immediately. If you can get hold of that person you have some prayer of making some new deal with the IRS.


As Bruce suggested, be proactive, contact the FTB and try to work out a change. If you let things unfold, you will default the Offer and things will go from bad to worse.


As the others have said, you should call the Revenue Officer ('RO') with whom you had been dealing and explain the situation. Some ROs will be willing to place taxpayers into Currently Not Collectible ('CNC') status, but unfortunately California is one of the most aggressive states in the country as far as tax collection is concerned. Oddly enough, Franchise Tax Board ('FTB') representatives are generally among the most competent representatives in the nation despite their unwillingness to compromise.

Before you call the RO, be prepared to send financial statements, documentation regarding unemployment benefits, and a note from your doctor diagnosing your depression. The more evidence you have to prove financial hardship, the more likely you are to reach a positive resolution.

If all else fails, consider calling the Taxpayer Advocates at (800) 883-5910. They are often more lenient and easier to deal with than the FTB.

Consider consulting a tax professional for the best possible advice. If cost is an issue, Santa Clara University School of Law hosts a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic serving your area (assuming you live in San Francisco). You can learn more about the cilnic at or by calling (408) 288-7030.

Robert Hoffman is a tax attorney licensed in California. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For competent advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.

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