Have a Tax Question? Ask a Tax Expert
Sorry for your situation.
Unfortunately - as long as you owe taxes - they generally should be paid...
You may - however based on your situation and assuming that was a honest mistake - ask the IRS to forgive penalties, however it is very unlikely that taxes and interest would be forgiven.
An offer in compromise (OIC) is an agreement between a taxpayer and the Internal Revenue Service that settles the taxpayer's tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed.In most cases, the IRS will not accept an OIC unless the amount offered by the taxpayer is equal to or greater than the reasonable collection potential (RCP). The RCP is how the IRS measures the taxpayer's ability to pay and includes the value that can be realized from the taxpayer's assets, such as real property, automobiles, bank accounts, and other property. The RCP also includes anticipated future income, less certain amounts allowed for basic living expenses.
You should beware of promoters' claims that tax debts can be settled through the offer in compromise program for "pennies on the dollar". In many situations you will pay fees and OIC would not be accepted by the IRS.
Absent special circumstances, an offer will not be accepted if the IRS believes that the liability can be paid in full as a lump sum or through a payment agreement.
Let me know if you need any help.