How to Qualify for the IRS Fresh Start Program
Trying to figure out how to pay your taxes can be stressful, but the IRS Fresh Start Program may be able to help.
People who are having trouble paying their taxes because of a lack of money can use this program to get payment plans and other options.
Find out what you need to qualify and what resources are available here!
What is IRS Fresh Start Initiative?
The IRS Fresh Start Program is designed to help taxpayers who owe back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) get caught up on their tax debt and avoid penalties and interest. Taxpayers who are having trouble with their finances and can’t pay their tax debt in full have a number of options from the IRS.
These programs are designed to help taxpayers avoid penalties and interest, as well as collection actions like liens, levies, and wage garnishments.
How do You Qualify?
To qualify for the IRS Fresh Start Program, you must meet certain criteria. First, you must be in full compliance. You must have filed all of your tax returns for previous years and not be going through any other tax debt relief or audits at the moment.
You have to be in full compliance, which, in the context of IRS tax relief, means that you have done everything you needed to do to meet your tax obligations.
This could mean filing all tax returns that are required, paying any taxes that are owed, and making regular estimated tax payments. Full compliance is a key part of many IRS tax relief programs because it shows that the taxpayer is committed to meeting their tax obligations in the future.
What Tax Relief Can You Receive?
Through the IRS Fresh Start Program, you may be eligible to receive a broad range of tax relief. The program offers several tax relief options to eligible taxpayers, including:
Installment Agreements: An installment agreement or IRS tax payment plan allows taxpayers to pay their tax debt over time in monthly payments. The payments are based on the taxpayer’s ability to pay and can be adjusted if the taxpayer’s financial situation changes.
Offers in Compromise: An Offer in Compromise allows taxpayers to settle their tax debt for less than the full amount owed. To be eligible for an Offer in Compromise, a taxpayer must show that they can’t pay their tax debt in full and that doing so would be hard on their finances.
Relief from Penalties: The IRS may lower or get rid of some of the penalties that have been added to the tax debt. To qualify for penalty relief, taxpayers must demonstrate that they had reasonable cause for their failure to pay their taxes on time.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a program called First Time Penalty Abatement (FTA) that lets some taxpayers ask for a one-time penalty waiver for not filing a tax return, paying taxes owed, or depositing taxes on time. The FTA is a form of tax relief that is available to taxpayers who have a clean compliance history and have not previously had a penalty waived.
Lien Withdrawals: If a taxpayer enters into an installment agreement to pay their tax debt, the IRS may withdraw any tax liens that have been placed on their property.
Currently Not Collectible: If a taxpayer is unable to pay their tax debt and is experiencing a financial hardship, they may be eligible for ““Currently Not Collectible” status. This means that the IRS will not take collection actions against the taxpayer for a period of time, typically one to two years.
The taxpayer will still owe the tax debt, but the IRS will not attempt to collect it during this time.
Innocent Spouse Relief: Innocent Spouse Relief allows taxpayers to separate their tax liability from their spouse’s tax liability. For taxpayers to be eligible for innocent spouse relief, they must have filed a joint tax return with their spouse or ex-spouse and show that they did not know that the return understated tax.
It’s important to remember that each of these tax relief options has its own rules about who can use it and may not be right for everyone who is having trouble paying their taxes.
It’s best to talk to a tax expert who can give you advice and help based on your unique situation.
Getting Started with the IRS Tax Relief Program
Getting started with the IRS Fresh Start Program involves several steps. The first step is to figure out if you are eligible for the program. You may need to look at your tax situation, figure out how much you can pay, and see what other options you may have for getting help.
Once you know if you are eligible, you can work with a tax professional or an attorney to put together your application for relief and send it in. This could mean showing proof of your financial situation, talking with the IRS, and paying off your tax debt.
It’s important to stay in compliance with your tax obligations and meet any deadlines or requirements set by the IRS. Working with a professional can help you get through the process and make sure you get the best result possible.
Additional Resources and Assistance
If you are struggling to manage your taxes, there are a variety of resources and assistance programs that may be able to help. In addition to the choices offered by the IRS Fresh Start Program, here are some other tools and resources that may be helpful:
Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) are independent groups that help low-income taxpayers who have problems with the IRS and need legal help for free or at a low cost. LITCs can help with a variety of issues, including audits, appeals, and collection actions.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA): VITA is a program that provides free tax preparation services to low- and moderate-income taxpayers. The program is staffed by volunteers who are trained to prepare basic tax returns.
Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS): The TAS is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers resolve problems with the IRS. The TAS can help with audits, collection actions, and identity theft, among other things.
State Tax Departments: If you owe state taxes, your state tax department may offer programs and assistance to help you manage your tax debt. Contact your state tax department to learn more about the programs and resources available.
Credit Counseling Agencies That Don’t Get Paid: Credit counseling agencies that don’t get paid can help you manage your debt by giving you financial advice and other help. These groups can help you make a budget, talk to your creditors, and come up with a plan to deal with your debt.
Bankruptcy Attorneys: If you have too much debt, a bankruptcy lawyer may be able to help you find ways to get rid of it. Bankruptcy can provide a fresh start and can help you manage your tax debt as well as other debts.
It’s important to keep in mind that each of these resources and help programs has different requirements for who can use them and may not be right for everyone. It’s best to do some research and talk to a trained professional who can give you advice and help based on your situation.
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