what is 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!
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.
Ready to find if you qualify for A Fresh Start?
Book Your No Cost Tax Debt Consultation
is the fresh start program legit
Absolutely. Originating in 2011, the IRS initiated the Fresh Start Program with the sole aim of assisting struggling taxpayers—both individuals and small businesses. In recent years, the IRS has even broadened the program's scope by adopting more lenient Offer-in-Compromise terms. This makes it accessible to an even wider demographic of financially distressed taxpayers.
Who qualifies for the Fresh Start program?
Who qualifies for the Fresh Start program? To qualify for the IRS Fresh Start Program, you must meet certain criteria.
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.
how does the IRS fresh start program work with Offer in Compromise
The IRS Fresh Start Program is designed to make it easier for taxpayers to pay back taxes and avoid tax liens. Under this program, there are several ways for taxpayers to resolve their tax obligations:
- Installment Agreements: The Fresh Start initiative has expanded provisions for setting up an installment agreement without having to provide a financial statement or verification if the taxpayer owes $50,000 or less and can pay the debt back within six years.
- Offer in Compromise (OIC): This allows taxpayers to settle their tax debt for less than the full amount owed. The IRS will consider various factors such as income, expenses, and asset equity to determine if the taxpayer can pay the full amount. You would typically use Form 656 for an Offer in Compromise.
- Tax Liens: Fresh Start has changed the threshold for federal tax liens from $5,000 to $10,000. Moreover, taxpayers may request to have their lien withdrawn after entering into a Direct Debit Installment Agreement.
- Tax Penalties: Some taxpayers may be able to get penalty relief, such as a first-time penalty abatement administrative waiver, if they meet certain criteria like having filed all required returns and paid or arranged to pay any tax due.
The IRS outlines these details in various tax forms and publications, including Form 9465 for installment agreements and Form 656 for Offers in Compromise. Code sections related to this program include 26 U.S.C. § 6159 (Installment Agreements) and 26 U.S.C. § 7122 (Offers in Compromise).
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.