There are a lot of unknowns regarding your tax filing until it is actually, well, finished. A filer can ballpark whether they are getting a refund or have to pay the IRS -- but sometimes the result is not what they expect. If you owe the government money, the tax bill is often hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. It's not exactly easy to scrape that money together to send off to the IRS. In fact, some people do not carry that amount of money in their bank accounts at any given time.

So when the tax form is complete and you see that you actually owe, it can be a daunting revelation. Many Atlanta residents may think they have to pay the entire amount immediately or risk severe penalties. This is not the case. You could pay it all immediately, if you can (or want to). Or, you could choose to enter an IRS payment plan, something many filers are not even aware of.

There are two common ways to enter into such a plan. The first is a basic payment plan, where you contact the IRS and set up a plan. The minimum monthly payment required by the IRS is $25. You must pay the full amount you owe before the next tax deadline, giving you a year to pay the entire amount.

The other common option is an IRS tax settlement, also called an "offer in compromise." This track is more complicated and requires the aid of a tax attorney to ensure the filer is in good standing. You must apply for such a deal, which includes a fee you must pay. In addition, you have to make an offer to the IRS for how much of what you owe you will actually pay (20 percent of that offer must be included in the application). If they approve the offer, you must pay off the new balance within five payments.

Source: Yahoo!, "First Person: IRS Payment Plan vs. IRS Tax Settlement," S.L. Carroll, Feb. 7, 2013