You’ve no doubt heard the words “fresh start” a lot recently. Many of our competitors hype it as the silver bullet that will solve all of your tax problems. But, what do they mean by fresh start? Will it really bring you the solutions you need?
Can the IRS’s Fresh Start Initiative help you?
The short answer is YES.
But the amount it can help you is directly related to the level of experience and knowledge of the person or firm you have hired to help you manage through your tax related issues. I’m not saying that my company, TaxLane®, is the only one capable of navigating the in’s and out’s of this program to help you. I am saying, however, that you should do your homework when seeking assistance. There are tax firms that know how to use it and there are companies that are just using it to land your business.
What is the Fresh Start Initiative?
The Fresh Start Initiative was introduced by the IRS to expand the options eligible taxpayers have to pay back taxes and avoid tax liens. Some of the areas that the Fresh Start program impacts:
- Tax Liens.
The Fresh Start program increased the amount that taxpayers can owe before the IRS generally will file a Notice of Federal Tax Lien. That amount is now $10,000. However, in some cases, the IRS may still file a lien notice on amounts less than $10,000.
GET HELP: There are parameters and certain qualifications that a skilled firm can help you with.
- Installment Agreements.
The Fresh Start program expanded access to streamlined installment agreements. Now, individual taxpayers who owe up to $50,000 COULD QUALIFY to pay through monthly direct debit payments for up to 72 months (six years).
GET HELP: Installment agreements may require financial statements and other supporting documentation, historical tax information and applicable completion of IRS forms such as a Collection Information Statement, Form 433-A or Form 433-F.
- Offers in Compromise.
An Offer in Compromise is an agreement that MAY allow taxpayers to settle their tax debt for less than the full amount. Fresh Start expanded and streamlined the OIC program.
GET HELP: For eligible taxpayers, an Offer in Compromise can significantly reduce the amount that they owe the IRS. Not all taxpayers will qualify for an Offer in Compromise and the difference between those that qualify and those that don’t is often the quality of the offer that they submit. The IRS has voluminous rules regarding the requirements of an acceptable offer. If you don’t meet these requirements, your offer will be summarily rejected.
Accurately completing the offer paperwork and correctly reporting your assets and income can have a dramatic effect on the likelihood that your offer will be accepted. The right help in this situation can be a game changer.
Can we help you?
TaxLane®, regularly assists taxpayers with Offers in Compromise, Installment Agreements and the removal of IRS liens and levies.
To find out if the Fresh Start Initiative is for you, contact our offices. We will talk openly and honestly about your financial situation and provide you with the best possible strategy for dealing with your tax debt.
Take a breath. It’s going to be Ok.