The stress and hardship that comes with owing thousands of dollars or more in back taxes is weighing on your shoulders and the pressure is all but crippling. The IRS is calling and mailing threatening letters, and you could be in danger of a levy or lien (if they haven’t started the process already). So, you decide that you have to do something.
You call the IRS on your own and make a payment plan that you can barely afford, with promises of clearing your debt over the course of years of monthly payments.
Perhaps you decide to seek help from one of the many tax relief companies that will not give you an exact cost upfront for resolving your tax debt, which is likely a scam. This could plunge you further into debt without any resolve.
So, what can you do?
Many taxpayers are unaware that they could be paying a more affordable balance, or even have some of their debt forgiven by the IRS. In short, if you’re dealing with the IRS on your own or with a faulty company, you’re likely overpaying for tax relief.
There is a program, however, that could make your experience with back taxes much easier and less daunting. Fresh Start is a program enacted by the US government to assist taxpayers achieve relief from their debt.
Again, you’re able to handle your debt with the IRS on your own. No one is forced to utilize the expertise of a tax professional to resolve debts and unfiled taxes. However, IRS associates can be aggressive in their tactics for collections and few Americans actually know their rights when it comes to collections and other procedures.
How does the Fresh Start Initiative Program work?
Upon qualifying for this relief program, which we highly recommend utilizing a professional such as our experts here at TaxRise, the Fresh Start program offers a number of ways to manage, reduce and eliminate tax debt. This is not an automatic process, but seeing it through to the end will have lasting benefits.
Your options for relief will depend on your case. Factors such as how much you owe, how much you can afford to pay, and even the reasons for owing can all determine how your case should be negotiated with the IRS.
Some options include an offer in compromise and an installment plan. Our attorneys will negotiate on your behalf to reduce the amount due as much as possible. During this time, the IRS cannot contact you regarding your debt. The IRS may settle for a lower amount that can be paid over the course of five months, or you may start an installment plan of affordable payments.
Why go to a tax professional?
Most companies wouldn’t tell you this, but you can certainly handle your case on your own. Just as many taxpayers file on their own without the help of a professional, you can negotiate your terms with the IRS.
The downfall to this, however, is that the average taxpayer is not aware of all of their rights, or IRS regulations. The IRS code is long and almost impossible to memorize. An expert would be able to present your case in the most ideal way possible and with your best interest in mind.
The IRS is also notoriously aggressive. An expert wouldn’t allow the IRS to back them into a corner, or intimidate them into a bad deal.
How to Qualify for Fresh Start
You can pre-qualify for the Fresh Start program by clicking this link.
Once you have completed our survey, an over-the-phone consultation will be the first step to your financial freedom.
Any new or systemic Liens and/or Levies will also be suspended for the time being.
For taxpayers who are considered “seriously delinquent”, the IRS will suspend any new certifications for the remaining period. Any taxpayer who falls into this category in reminded and encouraged to enter into an Installment Agreement or apply for an Offer In Compromise.
The IRS will not forward any new delinquent accounts to private collection agencies at this time.
Taxpayers have until July 15, 2020 to verify to the IRS they are qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit or to confirm their income. If the taxpayer is unable to verify their credentials or provide appropriate documents for this credit, they are encouraged to notify the IRS before the deadline. No cases will be denied this credit for failure to provide requested information until July 15.
Case workers will continue business as usual. However, most case work will be conducted remotely (video/over the phone conferences). Any requests for documentation sent by the Office of Appeals should be responded to in a timely manner to ensure a smooth process.
The IRS will continue to take the appropriate measures to stay compliant and protect the applicable statutes of limitations. In situations where certain statutes may be compromised, taxpayers are encouraged to extend such statutes. Otherwise, Notices of Deficiency will be issued by the IRS and similar actions will be pursued to protect the interests of the government in preserving such statutes. Where a statutory period is not set to expire during 2020, the IRS is unlikely to pursue the foregoing actions until at least July 15, 2020.
Practitioners are reminded that PPS wait times may be significantly longer, depending on staffing levels and allocations going forward. The IRS will continue to monitor this as situations develop.
“The IRS will continue to review and, where appropriate, modify or expand the People First Initiative as we continue reviewing our programs and receive feedback from others,” Rettig said. “We are committed to helping people get through this period, and our employees will remain focused on these and other helpful efforts in the days and weeks ahead. I ask for your personal support, your understanding – and your patience – as we navigate our way forward together. Stay safe and take care of your families, friends and others.”
Learn how easy it is to qualify for tax savings.