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What do I do if I can't pay the amount owed on my tax return?

The first thing you must do is to make sure you file your tax return on a timely basis even if you can't pay anything. In this manner, you avoid any failure-to-file penalties. Prior to filing you should call the IRS at 800-829-1040 (follow the voice prompts) and discuss the options with them. If the amounts are small, the IRS will usually arrange a 120-day informal payment program. If the amount is under $25,000 and you can't pay within 120 days, you may be eligible for the Installment Payment Program. Information on all your options is available at IRS Tax Topic 202 on the IRS website.