Why is the IRS Online Payment Agreement Not Working?

Sometimes, there are instances when the OPA may encounter issues, preventing taxpayers from successfully completing their payment agreements. In this blog post, we will explore the common reasons why the IRS online payment agreement may not be working and provide practical solutions to resolve these issues.

Before delving into the troubleshooting steps, it’s essential to understand what the IRS Online Payment Agreement entails.

The IRS Online Payment Agreement (OPA) is a convenient tool that allows taxpayers to pay their tax liabilities in instalments. It is an online platform that allows taxpayers to set up instalment plans to pay off their outstanding tax debt. This method offers flexibility and convenience, enabling individuals to make timely payments and avoid penalties.

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Common Reasons the IRS Online Payment Agreement is Not Working

  1. Incorrect Information

One of the most common reasons for a failed IRS online payment agreement is inputting incorrect information during the application process. Even minor errors, such as misspelt names or inaccurate Social Security numbers, can lead to problems. It’s crucial to double-check all the information provided before submitting the agreement to avoid potential issues.

  1. Outstanding Tax Returns

If you have any outstanding tax returns that haven’t been filed, the IRS may reject your online payment agreement application. Before applying for an OPA, ensure that all required tax returns are filed and up to date. Completing any pending tax returns will increase your chances of a successful application.

  1. Unpaid Tax Liabilities

If you have any existing unpaid tax liabilities, the IRS may refuse to grant your online payment agreement request. Before applying for an OPA, it is essential to address any outstanding tax debts. Paying off or arranging a separate agreement for any unpaid balances will increase the likelihood of your online payment agreement being accepted.

  1. Existing Installment Agreement

If you already have an existing instalment agreement with the IRS, you may not be eligible for a new online payment agreement. Ensure that you don’t have any active agreements before applying for an OPA. If you need to modify or cancel an existing agreement, contact the IRS directly for assistance.

  1. Ineligibility for Online Payment Agreement

Some taxpayers may be ineligible for an online payment agreement due to certain criteria, such as owing an excessive amount or having a history of missed payments.

Review the IRS guidelines to confirm your eligibility for an online payment agreement.

  1. Technical Glitches or System Maintenance

Occasionally, the IRS website may experience technical issues or undergo maintenance that affects the functionality of the online payment agreement.

Check the IRS website or their social media channels for any announcements regarding system downtime or maintenance.

  1. Incorrect Browser Compatibility

The IRS website and online payment agreement system are optimized for specific browsers and versions. Using an unsupported browser or an outdated version may cause compatibility issues.

Ensure that you are using a supported browser (such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge) and update it to the latest version.

How to Fix the IRS Online Payment Agreement Not Working

  1. Verify Information Accuracy

When completing the online payment agreement form, carefully review all the information you provide. Ensure that your personal details, such as your name, address, and Social Security number, are correct. It’s also crucial to double-check the payment amount and the proposed payment schedule. Correcting any inaccuracies will improve the chances of a successful application.

  1. File All Outstanding Tax Returns

Before applying for an online payment agreement, make sure that all your outstanding tax returns are filed. Ensure that you have properly completed and submitted all necessary tax forms for the applicable tax years. Filing any missing tax returns will satisfy one of the requirements for a successful online payment agreement application.

  1. Address Unpaid Tax Liabilities

To resolve any unpaid tax liabilities, you have several options:

  • Pay in Full: If possible, consider paying off the entire tax debt upfront. This will eliminate the need for an online payment agreement and potentially save you on interest and penalties.
  • Offer in Compromise: If you are unable to pay the full amount, you may qualify for an Offer in Compromise (OIC). An OIC allows you to settle your tax debt for less than the total amount owed. Visit the IRS website or consult a tax professional to determine your eligibility for an OIC.
  • Request a Different Payment Plan: If you cannot pay the full amount or qualify for an OIC, you can contact the IRS to discuss alternative payment arrangements. The IRS may consider setting up a different instalment agreement that better fits your financial situation.
  1. Seek Professional Guidance

If you find it challenging to navigate the IRS OPA system or resolve the issues independently, consider consulting a tax professional or an enrolled agent who specializes in tax matters. They can provide personalized guidance and help ensure you comply with IRS requirements.

  1. Check Supported Browsers

Visit the IRS website or the Online Payment Agreement portal to find the list of supported browsers. The IRS typically recommends using popular browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge. Take note of any specific browser versions mentioned.

  1. Update Your Browser

Ensure that you are using the latest version of your preferred browser. Outdated versions may not be fully compatible with the IRS website and the Online Payment Agreement system.

  • To update Google Chrome: Click on the three vertical dots in the top-right corner, go to “Help,” and select “About Google Chrome.” Chrome will automatically check for updates and install them if available.
  • To update Mozilla Firefox: Click on the three horizontal lines in the top-right corner, go to “Options,” select “General” in the left sidebar, and scroll down to the “Firefox Updates” section. Click on “Check for updates” and follow the instructions to update Firefox.
  • To update Microsoft Edge: Click on the three horizontal dots in the top-right corner, go to “Settings,” select “About Microsoft Edge” in the left sidebar, and Edge will automatically check for updates and install them if available.
  1. Contact the IRS Directly

If you have tried the above steps and your online payment agreement still isn’t working, it’s advisable to contact the IRS directly for assistance. The IRS has dedicated helplines for various tax-related issues, and speaking with a representative can help identify the specific problem and provide a solution tailored to your situation.


The IRS Online Payment Agreement offers taxpayers a convenient way to manage their tax liabilities. However, various factors can prevent the agreement from working correctly. By ensuring accurate information, addressing outstanding tax returns and unpaid liabilities, and contacting the IRS when necessary, you can resolve most issues and successfully set up an online payment agreement.

Remember, timely action and attention to detail are key to ensuring a smooth and hassle-free payment process with the IRS

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