Fresh Start Initiative of the IRS



The Fresh Start initiative of the IRS is designed to help taxpayers resolve their back taxes easily. The initiative is to make tax debt resolution easier for taxpayers that find it difficult to pay their entire amount of back taxes or tax bill. The Fresh Start includes an increase in the tax lien filing threshold, more lenient qualifying criteria for an Installment Agreement, and the simplification in the qualifying criteria for Offer in Compromise.

Taxpayers that are experiencing financial difficulty can hope to resolve their tax debt without furnishing extensive financial details or facing harsh collection actions. The Fresh Start initiative also helps small businesses to resolve their back taxes more comfortably.


Fresh Start for Tax Lien

Under the Fresh Start, the IRS increased the amount of tax debt on which the IRS can file a tax lien. The amount has been raised from the earlier $5,000 to $10,000. Even though the IRS can still place a lien on tax debts below $10,000, in most cases, it will only place a lien if the tax debt is $10,000 or more.


Fresh Start for Installment Agreements

Under the Fresh Start for Installment Agreements, taxpayers that owe to the IRS up to $50,000 in taxes can pay their tax debt using direct debit for up to six years. To qualify, taxpayers will not need to provide a financial statement to the IRS, but only basic financial information. Taxpayers that owe more than $50,000 in taxes will need to provide a financial statement to the IRS when seeking resolution.

Fresh Start for Offer in Compromise


For an Offer in Compromise under the Fresh Start, the IRS will show more flexibility in analyzing the taxpayer’s ability to pay. This flexibility will mean that more taxpayers will be able to resolve their tax debt using an Offer in Compromise. To determine eligibility for a payment plan, the IRS will consider many factors, including the taxpayer’s income and assets, and liabilities.

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