Fresh Start Initiative

Community Tax can help you negotiate with the IRS using the Fresh Start Program.

What is the fresh start initiative program?

The Fresh Start program is designed to help businesses and individuals get tax debt relief and avoid penalties. Read More

Do you qualify for the fresh start initiative program?

Many Americans qualify for the Fresh Start program. We can help you determine if you’re eligible. Read More

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IRS Fresh Start Program

The IRS Fresh Start Program, launched in 2011, is an initiative designed to make it easier for taxpayers to resolve tax debt by giving them a “fresh start” with the Internal Revenue Service. The Fresh Start Initiative grants more flexible repayment terms for taxpayers to pay, or absolve their back taxes without incurring penalties.

We can help you with:

  • Interest payments
  • Tax liens
  • Seizure of assets
  • Wage garnishments

A tax expert from Community Tax can advise you on whether you qualify for an offer in compromise, and, if so, help determine the amount the IRS would most likely accept to settle your debt.

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No matter how big your tax debt is, we have a solution for you.

Installment Agreements

If you’re currently unable to pay your tax debt in full, you may qualify to pay what you owe over a longer period of time through an installment agreement. Thanks to the Fresh Start Initiative, more taxpayers can now access installment agreements. However, negotiating an installment agreement with the IRS on your own can be a complex and frustrating challenge.

Community Tax experts are willing and able to fight for an installment agreement that works for you. We can help negotiate payment amount and payment period to garner the most favorable outcome for your situation.

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Offer in Compromise

Can’t afford to pay what you owe to the IRS? You may not have to.

Following the Fresh Start Initiative, more taxpayers now qualify for an Offer in Compromise (OIC). Negotiating an OIC on your own can be difficult, but you can increase your chances of approval with the help of a tax specialist from Community Tax.

Tax Lien Withdrawal

The Fresh Start Initiative transformed the process of a federal tax lien. Following the Fresh Start Initiative, taxpayers have the right to file for a tax lien withdrawal if they’ve paid off tax debt and fulfilled other certain requirements.

The IRS also increased the amount a taxpayer must owe before they can be served with a tax lien. Currently, this amount is $10,000. However, there are cases in which a taxpayer may be served a tax lien even if their outstanding balance is less than $10,000. If you’ve been slapped with a tax lien, we’ll do everything in our power to have it released and examine all your options for tax debt resolution.

Qualifying for the Fresh Start Program

There are varied limitations on who can receive this tax penalty reprieve, and some of the most common include:

  • Self-employed taxpayers must provide proof of a 25 percent drop in their net income
  • Taxpayers can’t earn more than $200,000 per year for married couples filing jointly or $100,000 for single filers
  • Tax balance must be below $50,000 at the end of the year to qualify

Understanding whether you qualify for one of these penalty relief programs can be confusing. A tax professional from Community Tax can guide you through the ins and outs of the process and help you determine which course of action is right for your financial situation.

Ongoing Guidance from Community Tax

The new updates to the Fresh Start Initiative are yet another set of rules to keep straight when trying to resolve tax problems. There are many complex details within these resolution options that can be difficult to remember and track. Some of the changes enacted by the IRS may not impact all individuals in debt, and it’s challenging to understand whether you fall in that group or not.

Thankfully, taxpayers can keep the whole process relatively simple by hiring a company whose entire job it is to keep these facts straight and report them accurately to clients. Community Tax focuses on staying up to date on the various changes the IRS makes to programs like the Fresh Start Initiative. This kind of service can help taxpayers save money, extend deadlines, or find their way into the best tax debt resolution plan to meet their needs.

Custom Tax Debt Solutions with the Fresh Start Program

Following the Fresh Start Initiative, more taxpayers now qualify for an Offer in Compromise (OIC). Negotiating an OIC on your own can be difficult, but you can increase your chances of approval with the help of a tax specialist from Community Tax.

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FAQs

Fresh Start Initiative

What is the Fresh Start Initiative?

If you find yourself in trouble with the IRS, don’t panic. There are plenty of options to help you get back on track and settle your tax debt.

Once known as the Fresh Start Program, the Fresh Start Initiative is not a program in itself, but rather a series of changes to current IRS Collection procedures and policies. It’s designed to help both individual taxpayers and small businesses attempting to settle an overdue tax liability. This agreement gives qualified individuals the ability to pay off their taxes in smaller, more manageable amounts over a period of time, with limited penalties. Additionally, the Fresh Start debt program also includes debt reassessment through Offer in Compromise agreements and tax lien withdrawal.

How does the Fresh Start Initiative work?

The Fresh Start Initiative can be broken down into two tax debt settlement solutions — installment agreements and the Offer in Compromise (OIC) program. These solutions are designed to make it easier for taxpayers to pay off tax debt while limiting financial burden.

Here’s how they work:

  • Installment Agreements: The taxpayer and the IRS work together to identify a monthly payment plan for the total tax debt owed. This can help reduce tax penalties like tax levies from unpaid taxes, and ultimately, make it more feasible for taxpayers to pay aggressive tax dues.
  • Offer in Compromise (OIC): An OIC agreement is a settlement solution for individuals who face insurmountable tax debt. This compromise can lessen the amount of taxes owed to the IRS.

What are the IRS Fresh Start program requirements?

There are many factors that play into whether you meet IRS Fresh Start tax program qualifications. Some of the most common limitations on the Fresh Start Initiative are:

  • Self-employed individuals must provide proof of a 25% drop in their net income
  • Joint filers cannot earn more than $200,000 a year and single filers cannot earn more than $100,000
  • Your tax balance must be below $50,000 at the end of the year in order to qualify

Not sure if you meet the Fresh Start Program requirements? Get in touch with us today! We’ll assess whether or not you qualify for a fresh start and determine if it’s the right course of action for your situation.

What Changes Have Been Made to the Fresh Start Initiative?

In 2012, the IRS made some changes to the Fresh Start Initiative in order to make it more accessible for struggling taxpayers. This expansion included the following changes:

  • Raising the installment agreement threshold from $25,000 to $50,000 so long as the debt can be paid within six years.
  • Increasing the length of installment terms from five to six years.
  • The program now allows taxpayers to avoid tax liens by using a direct debit installment agreement for balances between $25,000 and $50,000.

How long will a Fresh Start with the IRS Take?

Every case is unique, but as a general rule, it’s not uncommon for the Fresh Start Initiative process to take several months. There have been cases that can require a year for completion, but our team will work hard to expedite the process and get you in better financial standing sooner.

Can the IRS reopen my debt after a Fresh Start Initiative settlement?

Yes, a Fresh Start Initiative settlement can be reassessed even after it has been paid. The IRS requires that you finish your payments for the settlement and continue to file and pay all taxes for five years after completing the terms of your settlement package. If you fail to do so, the IRS will likely pursue the full amount of taxes originally owed.

How do I apply for a Fresh Start with the IRS?

You can apply for a Fresh Start with the IRS directly or with the help of a tax professional. The Fresh Start application can take several months to get approved for if you choose to go it alone. With the help of a Community Tax expert on your side, we can help expedite the process so you can get your Fresh Start debt resolved as soon as possible.

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