Here’s a hypothetical — and, in many instances, a reality — for some taxpayers in Minnesota and nationally: As an honest and conscientious person, you want to fully satisfy your currently owed tax debt, but you absolutely know from staring at the amount demanded that you cannot write a check to cover it.

What can you do? Does the Internal Revenue Service provide options for challenged filers who can’t get current in one payment?

Many filers might just automatically assume that the answer to that question is a resounding “no,” given the fierce reputation of the IRS. When the agency wants its money, well ….

Indeed, and while the Internal Revenue Service is not best known for the soft vibes it throws out to taxpayers, the agency is not without heart.

Perhaps a better way to put that is that IRS administrators are realists and know that high numbers of Americans simply cannot pay off huge tax exactions at one go. Filers sometimes need the agency to compromise, and the IRS is in fact willing to do that in many instances.

It does so through various installment agreement plans it offers to eligible filers. Those provide taxpayers with options to lump-sum payments that better enable them to satisfy their debt by making manageable monthly payments over time.

Each of the payment plans comes with its own eligibility requirements and application duties, which an experienced tax attorney who routinely represents clients in IRS-related matters can explain.

A proven professional tax law attorney can also help a client negotiate the application process, working closely with a filer to ensure that his or her legal interests are fully promoted at all times.

Source: About.com (About Money), “Installment agreements, “William Perez, accessed Aug. 18, 2014