What is the IRS Fresh Start program initiative?
You've worked hard, but for whatever reason, you find that your tax debt cannot be paid on time and you don't know how to resolve it.
Owing the IRS for back taxes is a nightmare you never thought you would take part in. Yet, here it is. The penalties are accumulating and the threatening letters have arrived.
You're not alone. The IRS collects millions from taxpayers in penalties for failure to pay. Yet, many taxpayers are unaware that the IRS does have programs to help you get back on track.
Curious about the IRS Fresh Start Program? Check out our informative article for a helpful overview of what you need to know.
In 2008, The United States experienced a housing crash. Even before the official declaration of a financial crash, many homeowners were struggling with inflatable interest rates on mortgages and finding themselves in financial distress.
The IRS Fresh Start Program was started in 2008 as an initiative to help its citizens who were struggling to pay taxes.
The IRS Fresh Start Program was expanded in 2012 to offer more assistance for the unemployed and businesses that were still recovering from a struggling economy that began with the housing crash.
In simplest terms, The Fresh Start Program offers a few options for individuals and businesses to pay off back taxes over time. Each option has specific requirements and regulations that must be met in order to participate in this tax relief program.
Ways to Settle Back Taxes with IRS Fresh Start program.
First, understand that although sorting through forms and filing procedures can feel very cold and frustrating, the IRS is run by people. It is not a machine.
These are people who have financial responsibilities, too. If there is a reasonable way to assist you in legally reducing your tax burden or offer payment plans, the IRS wants to do it.
With that said, working with the IRS is challenging. If you have ever tried to file your taxes on your own, you know it is time-consuming and often confusing.
Much of the difficulty in trying to resolve a tax problem on your own is due to legal terminology that requires some study and knowing which forms to file correctly.
Now imagine negotiating your back taxes on your own. This article is intended to give you a basic understanding of your options, but it is strongly recommended that you consult with a tax professional who has experience with forms and filing requirements.
Extended Installment Plan
This is a repayment agreement that allows you to pay off your tax debt in monthly payments. It is designed for people who owe $50,000 or less in taxes. With an extended installment plan, taxpayers have up to 6 years to make payments until the balance is paid in full.
The amount of monthly payment will depend on the total back taxes and accrued interest. You will also have to file financial disclosures so that an affordable monthly payment can be determined for your situation.
Businesses that owe less than $25,000 in combined taxes, interest, and penalties are also eligible to apply for an extended installment plan called an In Business Express Installment Agreement.
There are filing fees for this type of repayment plan. You may have options to negotiate penalty payments and halt tax liens.
Short Term Streamlined Repayment Plan
If you owe back taxes but will be able to pay them in a shorter extension time than 6 years, you can enter a direct debit plan for up to 180 days.
Businesses that owe between $10,000 and $24,999 are enrolled in a short-term Direct Debit Installment plan. You must have employees to be eligible.
Having monthly payments directly deposited with the IRS from your bank will help keep you on track and avoid default on your repayment plan. There are also reductions in fees and penalties by entering into a short-term direct debit plan.
Offer In Compromise (OIC)
There are situations in which a taxpayer may not be able to pay the full amount owed within 6 years. There is no limitation on the amount of tax owed to apply.
An OIC agreement is complicated and requires extensive filings and documentation to prove that your financial hardship is so severe that full repayment in full is not possible.
In this case, the taxpayer fills out application forms with financial documentation. In the application, an offer is made. This is your offer of what you can pay when filing for a reduction in the total tax debt owed.
Through filings for tax debt relief, it may be determined that your tax debt is uncollectible at this time.
This is an extreme circumstance in which you are unemployed and have no assets, suffering a major illness with large medical bills, or any other situation in which you are barely affording your most basic needs and cannot pay on the tax debt.
If your tax debt is filed as an uncollectible status, that does not mean that the debt is forgiven.
Once you are earning income again and/or acquiring assets, you will be expected to pay your back taxes. Then, you may be able to negotiate with the IRS on repayment plans.
How Can You Qualify for Tax Relief?
Before you can begin to apply for payment plans or an OIC through the IRS Fresh Start Program, you must be in compliance. The following outlines your steps to qualify for tax relief.
- Owe Less Than $50,000
To qualify for a repayment plan under the guidelines of The IRS Fresh Start Program, your tax debt must be under $50,000. This does not include an OIC. An Offer In Compromise can be submitted for any tax amount.
Businesses are also eligible to apply if they owe less than $25,000 and are able to meet monthly payments. The business must have employees.
- First Time Delinquent Tax Payer
In order to receive some of the benefits given under repayment agreements, you must not be a repeat offender. This means opportunities to apply for removal of Federal Tax Liens and penalties will not be given.
- Tax Filings Are Up To Date
This means that all of the years that have not been filed must now be up to date regardless of your ability to pay. The IRS will not accept an application for The Fresh Start Program until all filings are complete and accurate.
- Maintain Compliance For 5 Years
If you are approved for an installment plan or OIC, you must continue to pay your taxes on time for the next 5 years.
If you fail to pay on time within 5 years, the IRS has the authority to find you out of compliance and reinstate the full amount previously owed. This includes the full-back tax, penalties, and interest.
Why Should You Consult With a Professional Tax Service?
The fact that you do owe back taxes and have not been able to resolve the amount owed and return to compliance with the IRS is a serious problem.
It may make you feel that you are in over your head. In truth, you are.
Gathering all of your necessary documents to file previous years' returns, following guidelines for late filing fees, and determining the correct forms to submit are going to be a lot of work and study on your part.
What happens if you submit forms incorrectly? Have you had tax notices reviewed to see if they are accurate? What if you enter into an agreement and do not fully understand the requirements and then default?
A professional who is experienced with various tax relief programs can help you to negotiate your tax debt with the IRS in a manner that is done right.
Knowing the law and your rights under tax relief is important to avoid future problems.
A qualified CPA can assist you with financial planning that keeps you on track. They can also help you with further negotiations if you fail to meet deadlines in your repayment agreement.
Get Expert Advice For Applying to the IRS Fresh Start Program
Getting behind in filing your taxes or being unable to pay the full amount of your tax debt on time is a situation that happens to millions of Americans. It is a stressful problem because of legal terminology that most of us cannot figure out on our own.
This article has outlined some of the repayment options you may be eligible for with The IRS Fresh Start Program. There are both immediate and long-term requirements that must be met to qualify.
Keith L. Jones, CPA specializes in IRS tax debt relief, tax resolution, and back tax filing. There is a no-cost obligation with your consultation.
Get your financial freedom back. Gather your tax documents and any IRS notices and make an appointment today.
Would you rather have financial luck or be good with money? Most financial challenges aren't just because of unfortunate events. They 're usually founded on poor financial habits. Some may call it financial luck, but most money challenges can be dealt with with using effective habits. Even a minor unforeseen cost can be crippling, with unsuitable financial practices.
While there are many negative financial habits that one might be guilty of committing, there are a couple that are particularly damaging.
Be careful not to acquire those poor financial habits:
- A failure to keep saving money. Consistently free from financial challenges, people have a consistent saving habit. There's always money to handle the inevitable financial emergencies if you save a portion of your paycheck every time you get paid.
- Make yourself a guarantee that you'll save a certain amount of each paycheck.
- Over-spending. The more you invest, the less you need to save. That is so plain. Over-spending leaves you vulnerable and more likely to face financial difficulties. Very excessive spending results in debt accumulation which is the ultimate financial curse.
- Look for other opportunities to have fun other than wasting money that you just don't need to spend.
- Set a tough cap on how much you can spend per month.
- Credit card overuse and other forms of debt. Debt poses a huge challenge to financial safety and stability. Debt can be cumbersome to eliminate and most debt comes with costly terms that make debt a particularly expensive way to spend money.
- Guard against debt. If you have to use debt to buy something, particularly something that is not necessary, then it's a safe bet you can't afford.
- Ignore the bills. No one enjoys paying bills. Period. Bills, though, have a tendency to pile up and have to be paid eventually. You're also wasting money during the time that should go toward your bills. That is an incredible error.
- Every week, spend a few minutes paying your bills. Make it a ritual that you execute one day a week.
- Charge fines, fees, and over-interest daily. Knew that credit card companies earn more revenue from late fees than they earn from interest? The penalties for ATMs are high. These interest-free loans have enormous interest penalties unless you pay them off on time.
- Pay the bills in due time. Using ATMs that do not claim a fee.
For information on tax debt relief go here!
- Raiding your savings, retirement and investment accounts. There may be times when you might be justified to dip into your savings or other accounts, just be sure it's for a good reason.
- Cashing out part of your 401(k) for a trip to Disney World is not a good reason for that. Wiping out your savings for a vintage car is probably not even a smart idea.
- Retirement accounts are used to invest. Investment and retirement plans are built to invest and create wealth. When you take money out of them they don't work well.
- No budget. And no budget. We just need a budget. Just one billionaire will have to have a budget. Financial limits are set in budgets, and financial limits help avoid financial problems.
- Too much dining out. Is difficult to eat out. Even fast food is more costly than a homemade meal. Homemade meals often prove to be safer.
Were you guilty of any of those attitudes?
Think of someone you know who does have a good career but who appears to be struggling financially. Count how many of the negative habits that person commits is guilty of. Then imagine someone you know, who never seems to be financially struggling. So many of these horrible habits have they?
The findings will come as no surprise!
Positive habits result in positive outcomes. Make sure your financial activities take you to a position you want to be in.
“In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” -Benjamin Franklin
I learned that a tax relief program exists for every IRS tax problem, giving back more taxpayers their financial freedom. In this post, I provide you information about 5 IRS tax relief programs that can provide you a Fresh Start for 2020.
Most people don’t go around bragging about their IRS problems. But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
Owing back taxes is way more common than you think with the number of delinquencies continues to go up while the ability to pay is decreasing.
According to Michael Rozbruch, a recognized entrepreneur and the founder of Michael Rozbruch’s Tax and Business Solutions Academy, more taxpayers have IRS tax debt right now than ever!
14 million taxpayers are in the IRS’s collection division that has a tax debt large enough to call for professional representation. 19 million people owe the IRS $391 billion right now.
It is very important that you don’t ignore an IRS issue and hope it will go away. The IRS will catch up with you and the penalties, interest, and fines will have only grown bigger!
If you are one of the 19 million people who owe the IRS back taxes, check out these 5 IRS tax debt relief programs aimed at resolving various tax problems (without hiring an IRS tax lawyer).
Grab one of a few NO COST consultations with TheCPATaxProblemSolver to see if you qualify for any of these IRS tax help programs Book Your Free Consultation.
This is one of the IRS tax relief programs that gets the most attention because it really gives you the best chance at a Fresh Start. An Offer In Compromise is an agreement between you and the IRS and the settling for an amount less than the full amount owed. It is an option for those who are not able to pay the past due amount in full, or if paying the full amount will cause financial hardship or leave you in a state of financial distress.
To qualify for an OIC, you must have filed all past tax returns & must be current with federal tax withholding or estimated tax payments for the present year.
The IRS will take the following facts into consideration once you file for an OIC:
- Ability to pay
- Total monthly/yearly expenses
- Assets and equity
When an OIC is approved by the IRS, there are two payment methods available. The first is a “Lump Sum” in which you pay the offer amount in one lump sum or in a payment installment of 5 or fewer payments within a set period of months. The second is a Periodic Payment Offer in which payments are made in 6 or more monthly installments and must be paid within 24 months.
If the IRS agrees to the OIC, you are required to timely file and pay all future taxes over the subsequent five years. If you do not abide with the set terms of the OIC, the IRS may consider the OIC to be in default. In this event, the OIC is null and void and the IRS will demand immediate full payment of the original tax balance plus penalties and interest.
When you cannot pay your tax debt in full immediately, you might be able to set up a monthly payment plan or Installment Agreement (IA). If you agree to pay the full amount, you may be able to reduce the interest owed and any other fees.
Folks may be eligible for an online payment plan if they owe less than $50,000 in combined individual taxes, interest, and penalties. You must have filed all of the necessary tax returns. You must also make the minimum required payment by the set due date. Any future tax refunds will be applied to your debt until it is paid in full.
A penalty abatement may be granted for the following penalties:
- Filing Late
- Paying Late
- Failure to deposit
Requests for penalty waivers may be filed if you meet the following criteria:
- Before the penalty has been assessed by the IRS, you can file a “penalty non-assertion request”
- After the penalty has been assessed, you can request a penalty abatement via a written letter to the IRS.
- Once the penalty has been paid, you can request a refund using Form 843. However, you must file this request within 3 years of the return date or within 2 years of paying the penalty.
You may request penalty abatement for the following reasons:
- Reasonable cause
- Statutory exceptions
- Administrative waivers
- Correction of an error on the behalf of the IRS
As many married taxpayers opt to file a joint return, this filing status leaves both partners liable for any taxes, penalties, and interest due in the event of a divorce. However, the spouse who feels they are being wrongly held liable may file for “Innocent Spouse Relief” in the event that one of the involved parties failed to report any income or claimed false credits or deductions.
Innocent Spouse Relief may be granted if you meet the following criteria:
- There are erroneous items on your joint return.
- You can prove that you did not know there was an error on the form at the time it was filed.
- You were coerced into signing a joint return or were unaware of the joint filing
Currently-Not-Collectible (CNC)/ Financial Hardship
Should you and the IRS agree that you do owe the amount in question, but you are unable to pay in full due to your financial situation, you may be able to apply for Currently-Not-Collective (CNC) or Financial Hardship status. In order to qualify, the IRS must determine that you cannot pay your cost of living expenses and your taxes at the same time.
When your necessary living expenses exceed your monthly income, the IRS will approve your CNC request and will not try to collect any past debts or issue any levies against you while you are in CNC status. However, the IRS has the power to add interest and penalties during that time, as well as to withhold any pending tax refunds and apply them to the amount owed.
Call Keith Jones, CPA TheCPATaxProblemSolver toll-free TODAY at 844-888-1040 to determine if you are eligible for a Fresh Start and get on the road to financial freedom! You Will Sleep MUCH BETTER TONIGHT!