I received a huge back tax bill from the IRS. I'm sure they made an error, which is why I filed a “doubt as to liability” claim under the Offer in Compromise program, but my petition was denied. Why?

There are a few possible reasons, the main ones being:

  • When you filed your doubt as to liability claim, you didn't supply the necessary documentation in a way which your IRS revenue officer could process easily. It's not enough to say “I was not paid $20,000 by that client;” you must supply proof the payment never came through. The same rule applies for dependents, deductions, and any other putative errors made on your tax assessment—it's up to you to prove to the IRS that they made an error.
  • You didn't use an experienced tax lawyer. Even if you dotted all your ‘i’s and crossed all your ‘t’s in your “doubt as to liability” claim, the IRS revenue officer may not have taken it seriously when he saw that you filled it out yourself. This is only human nature: an IRS functionary will pay more attention to a letter from a lawyer than one from an ordinary Oklahoma resident, because a lawyer has more weapons in his arsenal when it comes to dealing with the government.
  • The IRS revenue officer simply doesn't believe your claim, even if you have supplied convincing documentation regarding the error. In this case, the sheer obstinacy of the government can be countered only by an aggressive tax lawyer, who can re-file your petition and make sure it is taken seriously by the IRS.


Have you been assessed a huge back tax bill by the IRS, and you don't know what to do? Contact the Oklahoma tax experts at Travis W. Watkins, PC (800-721-7054) to find out what we can do for you!