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Installment Agreement Default: What to do

The Internal Revenue Service defines default of an installment agreement as the taxpayer providing inaccurate information or the taxpayer not meeting the terms of their agreement. In this case, the agreement may be terminated. A taxpayer may appeal a proposed termination.

The Internal Revenue Service may propose termination in the event that the taxpayer fails to make an installment payment when it comes due; fails to pay another tax liability; fails to provide an updated financial statement; provides inaccurate information; and fails to pay a modified payment based upon submitted updated information.

Taxpayers that do not meet the terms of the installment agreement “will be notified in writing and given 30 days to comply with the terms of the agreement before the agreement is terminated” (, “Part 5. Collecting Process, Chapter 14. Installment Agreements, Section 11. Defaulted Installment Agreements, Terminated Agreements and Appeals of: Proposed Terminations (Defaults), and Terminated Installment Agreements,” 8/21/2013).

A taxpayer whose installment agreement is monitored by the IDRS[1] will receive Notice CP 523, Defaulted Installment Agreement – Notice of Intent to Levy. A defaulted installment agreement may be reinstated without manager approval if it is determined that the agreement was terminated “because of an additional liability and if addition of that new liability will result in no more than two additional monthly payments and the agreement will not extend beyond the Collection Statute Expiration Date (CSED)” (“Section 11. Defaulted Installment Agreements, Terminated Agreements and Appeals of: Proposed Terminations (Defaults), and Terminated Installment Agreements”).

The IRS will first make a lien determination before considering the request for reinstatement. Default and reinstatement terminations due to the taxpayer missing and/or skipping payments will require manager approval.

The taxpayer may request a Collection Appeals Program (CAP) hearing to discuss the proposed terminations and actual terminations of installment agreements. The law provides for the taxpayer to appeal a termination of an installment agreement.

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[1] See the Regular Installment Agreement (Over $50,000) section. The IDRS stands for Integrated Data Retrieval System, “a mission critical system consisting of databases and operating programs that support IRS employees working active tax cases within each business function across the entire IRS” (, “Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS) – Privacy Impact Assessment,” 8/21/2013).

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