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 settle existing tax debt and avoid penalties. This agreement gives qualified individuals the ability to pay off their taxes in smaller, more manageable amounts over some time. This debt program also includes debt reassessment through Offer in Compromise agreements and tax lien withdrawal.

Qualifying for the Fresh Start Program

  • 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 are eligible 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 suitable for your financial situation.

Fresh Start Initiative FAQs

The IRS Fresh Start Program, launched in 2011, is designed to make it easier for taxpayers to resolve tax debt with the Internal Revenue Service. This grants more flexible repayment terms for taxpayers to pay or absolve their back taxes without incurring penalties.

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 make it easier for taxpayers to pay off tax debt while limiting the 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?

To qualify, you must meet the following criteria:

  • 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 requirements? Get in touch with us today! We’ll assess whether or not you qualify and determine if it’s the right course of action for your situation.

How Long Will A Fresh Start With The IRS Take?

Every case is unique, but it’s not uncommon for the process to take several months as a general rule. 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 total amount of taxes initially 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 application can take several months to get approved 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 debt resolved as soon as possible.

Custom Tax Debt Solutions

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.