Fresh Start Initiative: Program Helping Those Who Owe the IRS

June 27th, 2017 by Filed under: Tax Blog, Tax Law Changes

fresh start program

Who doesn’t like a fresh start? Sometimes it’s a new job in a completely different industry? Perhaps, you’ve had it with your current significant other, or maybe you’re ready to bolt your living quarters and start all over somewhere else. There’s nothing quite like that feeling of rinsing yourself off, so to speak, and starting over with a completely new perspective. That’s why they call it a fresh start.

Fresh Start With Taxes

Taxes are another area in life where it can be great to get a fresh new start, especially for those who owe back taxes. The IRS has a history of being one of the harshest debt collectors and resolving debts owed with them has not been an easy task. Owing the IRS has burdened many taxpayers and has made it even more difficult to get out of because of the collection techniques used by them.

Welcome Announcement

So, if you combine the overall negative aspects of debt with the dread of dealing with the IRS, it’s easy to see how getting a fresh start with your tax situation would be a welcome change for anyone. Thankfully, there is some good news for people in this situation. It’s called the IRS Fresh Start Initiative Program, which according to the agency “makes it easier for taxpayers to pay back taxes and avoid tax liens. Even small business taxpayers may benefit from Fresh Start.”

What is the Fresh Start Initiative?

So what is the Fresh Start program? It’s actually been around since 2011 but the IRS has instituted several additions and changes to the initiative since it was first launched. The IRS provides taxpayers several options to settle their tax liabilities, and the Fresh Start program is essentially a compilation of these many alternatives. While these options are not necessarily new, they do offer some differences in the methods the IRS uses to analyze and process tax payments. If you currently owe back taxes then many of these changes could be very helpful for your situation.

How the Fresh Start Program Works

There are several advantages to the Fresh Start Program, including:

  • How the IRS handles tax liens – when you don’t pay off your tax debt the IRS can put a tax lien on your assets and property, which means all creditors in your county will be notified that the government has a legal claim against your assets. The IRS could do this even if you owed less than $10,000 when the lien program started. However, thanks to the Fresh Start program the IRS rarely files for a lien if you owe less than $10,000. Obviously, this makes it easier to avoid the negative effects of a tax lien, including damaging your credit and making it more difficult to qualify for new credit.
  • How the IRS treats installment paymentsinstallment agreements make it easier for taxpayers to pay off their debt under the Fresh Start program, and they might even be able to avoid certain penalties. If your debt does not exceed $50,000 then Fresh Start allows you to pay off the amount you owe over six years through direct payments.
  • How the IRS implements offers in compromise – if you can show that you aren’t able to pay off your full debt, the IRS may accept an offer in compromise. And thanks to the Fresh Start program, it can be easier to get your offer accepted. That’s because the IRS is more flexible in deciding which offers in compromise to accept under Fresh Start. That means when you use Fresh Start you have a better chance to settle with the IRs for less than the total debt you owe.

Why it Makes Life Easier for Taxpayers

The bottom line when you use the fresh start program is that you have a better chance of resolving your tax debt with less trouble from the IRS. When you owe money to the IRS, the agency’s focus is to get as much money as they can as quickly as they can. That can make your life very difficult. One way to avoid this and get as much as you can out for the Fresh Start program is to work with a qualified tax professional that can help you navigate through this process successfully. With the right help you can often settle your tax debt for less than you owe and finally get the IRS off your back. Add it all up and it equals a fresh new start.

Do You Qualify for IRS Fresh Start Program?

Our licensed tax professionals can quickly analyze your tax situation and determine if you are a candidate for one of these programs. Our consultations are free and come with no obligation to use us for services. If you would like to talk to a tax professional, please complete the tax consultation request form or call the number at the top of the page.

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