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IRS: Fresh Start Program and requirements to participate explained

The IRS is one of the largest and most serious debt collectors in the country, but even then they sometimes help struggling Americans.

irs building, where the agency grants people permission to use the Fresh Start Program

The IRS has changed various tax laws that help Americans who are struggling.

The policies they change to benefit anyone struggling to pay their debt go together under the Fresh Start Program.

The program can be complicated, but it can really benefit those who need it.


If you are e-filing your taxes, zero may be the magic number

Fresh Start Program under the IRS explained

The program gives Americans plenty of different options to go ahead and tackle their IRS debt.

The program started in 2011 to help taxpayers clear up their debt and return to good financial standing.

Depending on which option you choose, the qualifications are different for each.


IRS: Average refund increase is over $400 for 2022

The 4 options for Fresh Start offered by the IRS

Offer in Compromise

This is one of the most challenging to qualify for.

This is for Americans that do not have the means to cover their tax debt.

If you have any ability to pay off your debt, including liquidating your assets, you won’t qualify.

You may apply using IRS Form 656-B.

Less than half of the requests made every year are approved.


Can you claim up to $10,000 in property tax credits for homeowners and renters?

Installment Agreement

You must owe $50,000 or less for this option.

If you owe more you can still choose this option if you can lower your debt to below $50,000.

There are both short term and long term plans ranging from 180 days to 6 years.

The agreement stops the IRS from putting liens on your property.


IRS: Why did I get an unexpected tax refund?

Currently not collectible

If you can prove to the IRS you cannot pay your debt, collections are temporarily frozen.

You must reach out to the IRS to get this status.

Penalty Abatement

You may ask to have penalties abated, or eliminated entirely.


How do I choose a tax preparer?

You can probably get this if you’ve never paid late or failed to pay as a first time abatement.

Another abatement sometimes granted is a reasonable cause abatement, which is something happening that is out of your control.

This could be a natural disaster or illness.

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