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What Is The IRS Fresh Start Program?

The IRS Fresh Start program is a set of initiatives that the IRS offers to help taxpayers who are struggling to pay their taxes. These initiatives include payment plans, streamlined procedures for filing taxes, and more. If you owe taxes and are struggling to pay them, the IRS Fresh Start program may help you. The IRS Fresh Start Program is great for those who are unable to pay in full what they owe, some benefits include:

  • Prevention of lien being filed against a tax payer
  • In some cases removal of a tax lien that has already been placed
  • Reduction in penalties and interest on penalty
  • No requirement to disclose income or assets to IRS, which for some taxpayers will yield in a more affordable installment plan. 

For over 13 years, our team of federally licensed & enrolled agents, tax attorneys, and accountants have all worked toward the common goal of helping people solve issues with both the IRS and state tax authorities.

We Help With:

  • Tax Levies & Liens
  • Wage Garnishment
  • Asset Seizure
  • Tax Preparation & Extensions
  • IRS ‘Fresh Start’ Qualification Assistance
  • Offer in Compromise
  • Currently Non Collectible Status
  • Statute of Limitations Enforcement
  • Filing Returns for Unfiled Years
  • IRS Audit Defense
  • Business & Personal Taxes

Who Qualifies For The Fresh Start Program?

The Fresh Start program is open to any taxpayer who owes taxes and is struggling to pay them. There are no income requirements.

The first step in applying for the IRS Fresh Start program is to contact your tax attorneys or accountants and see if you qualify. While there are no income requirements, the IRS has certain eligibility standards that must be met in order to qualify for the program, including:

  • You must have filed all required tax returns for the previous three years
  • You must not owe more than $50,000 in taxes, including interest and penalties
  • You must agree to pay your taxes owed within six years
  • You must have made all required estimated tax payments for the current year
  • You must not have been involved in any tax evasion or fraud activities

If you meet all the above requirements, you can then apply for the IRS Fresh Start program. Tax Law Advisors will work with you to complete the necessary paperwork and help you submit it to the IRS. We will also help you keep track of your progress and ensure that you are on pace to successfully complete the program.

Reducing Your Tax Debt

The good news is that the IRS has programs in place to help taxpayers with reducing their tax debt. One way to reduce your debt would be through a process called penalty abatement. Our team would go through a detailed breakdown of the balances you owe, and determine which penalties are eligible for removal. This not only reduces the balance initially, it also allows one to pay off their tax debt faster by not throwing away money on compounding interest on penalties. There are no income qualifications for this. Talking to your tax professionals at Tax Law Advocates can help you understand what it will take to get your penalties eliminated. 

Another option is the Offer in Compromise. This option not only eliminates penalty and interest, it eliminates the principal. Our team has worked with individuals who owe the IRS hundreds and thousands of dollars, and have been successfully able to get their debt zeroed out. Not everyone qualifies for this plan, it is important to understand what criteria one must meet to get an Offer in Compromise accepted, speaking to your tax professional is the best place to start.

Payment Plan Options

The IRS Fresh Start program offers several payment plans to help taxpayers pay off their taxes. There are two main types of payment plans:

  • Streamline Installment Plans
  • Partial Pay Installment Plans

Streamline payment plans

Long-term payment plans allow taxpayers to pay their taxes over a period of time, usually up to 72 months, and, in some cases, even 84 months. 

Partial payment plans

Partial payment plans allow taxpayers to make smaller payments over time while the interest and penalties accrue. In many of these instances the tax debt could be reduced significantly by utilizing the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the expiration date of the debt. The IRS has a set period of time to collect on an installment plan, Tax Law Advocates will use this limitation by getting you a low enough payment, and allowing most of the debt to expire. 

If you need help understanding the IRS Fresh Start program or applying for a payment plan, contact the professionals at Tax Law Advocates. We can help you understand your options and make sure you qualify for the best payment plan for your situation.

Who qualifies for a payment plan?

To qualify for a short-term payment plan, you must owe less than $100,000 in combined tax, penalties, and interest. 

To qualify for a long-term payment plan, you must owe $50,000 or less in combined tax, penalties, and interest. 

When a taxpayer has a tax debt over $100,000.00, getting a payment plan or resolution in place is more difficult. That is why it is so important to make sure one has proper representation to ensure they are put in the best possible situation given the larger balance that is owed. 

What if I can’t afford a payment plan?

Offer in Compromise

If you can’t afford a payment plan, you may be eligible for an Offer in Compromise. An Offer in Compromise allows you to settle your tax debt for less than the full amount you owe. To qualify, you must prove that you can’t pay your taxes and that paying the full amount would create a financial hardship.

The IRS will consider your income, expenses, and assets to determine if you qualify for an OIC. If you qualify, you will be required to submit a non-refundable deposit. The deposit is typically 20% of the offer amount. For example, if you offer to pay $10,000 to settle your tax debt, you would be required to submit a $2,000 deposit.

Other Points of the Program

Currently Non-Collectible Status

If you can’t afford to make payments on your tax debt, you may be eligible for Currently Non-Collectible Status. This means that the IRS will not collect on your debt until your financial situation improves. To qualify, you must prove that you can’t pay your taxes and that paying the full amount would create a financial hardship.

Penalty Abatement

If you can’t pay your taxes, you may be eligible for a penalty abatement. A penalty abatement allows you to have your penalties waived.

Hardship Status

If you can’t pay your taxes, you may be eligible for Hardship Status. This means that the IRS will not collect on your debt until your financial situation improves. You must demonstrate that paying the full amount would create a financial hardship in order to qualify..

If you need help understanding the IRS Fresh Start program or applying for a payment plan, contact the professionals at Tax Law Advisors. We can help you understand your options and make sure you qualify for the right payment plan.

How Difficult is it to Get my Case Accepted?

The Fresh Start Tax Program recorded a large number of applications in 2020. The IRS’s lenient approach in accepting cases and the enormous increase in Fresh Start tax relief applications were largely attributed to the COVID-19 epidemic, which caused financial problems for millions of Americans.

In 2021, with many taxpayers still struggling, many applications were accepted. While inflation is still causing financial difficulties for many in 2022 and the program is still strong, the IRS is unlikely to continue the level of leniency we’ve seen over the past few years. We strongly recommend that anyone with tax problems reach out to us immediately to see if they will be accepted into the program.

Help is Just a Click or a Phone Call Away

If you’re struggling to pay your taxes, the IRS Fresh Start program may be able to help. The program offers several different options, such as payment plans and streamlined procedures for filing taxes. If you have questions about the IRS Fresh Start program or need help with your application, contact us today 855-612-7777.

With an A+ accreditation from the Better Business Bureau and an AAA rating from the Business Consumer Alliance, time and time again we have proved our ability to solve any tax-related matters.

We are here to help you get started on the path to financial stability.