When a taxpayer requests an installment agreement for larger tax liabilities or proposes an offer in compromise, the IRS applies allowable expense standards. Total allowable expenses include those expenses that meet the necessary expense test. The necessary expense test is defined as expenses that are necessary to provide for a taxpayer’s and his or her family’s health and welfare and/or production of income. The expenses must be reasonable. The total necessary expenses establish the minimum a taxpayer and family needs to live and serve as the basis for granting installment agreements and offers in compromise.
Below are links to the latest revisions of the national standards used in collection financial analysis. The charts show the itemized monthly national standards and the total money national standards as revised in March 2010. The new standards are effective for financial analysis conducted after publication.