What Is the IRS Fresh Start Program — And Could You Qualify?

Tax debt has a way of spiraling out of control. Penalties and interest add up quickly, leading to huge bills and a great deal of accompanying stress. Thankfully, relief may be more accessible than it seems. The IRS Fresh Start program could provide a much-needed path out of your current tax nightmare.

What Is the IRS Fresh Start Program?

Launched in 2011 with hopes of providing much-needed tax relief for individuals and small businesses, the IRS Fresh Start program helps a variety of taxpayers avoid significant debt and ensuing liens on their property. Three main initiatives make this possible:

  • Higher debt requirements for liens. Under the Fresh Start program, the minimum amount owed for the IRS to file a Federal Notice of Tax Lien now rests at $10,000. Before you take solace in this number, however, keep in mind that the agency may still file liens for select cases in which debt does not meet this threshold.
  • Case-by-case approach to offers in compromise. Fresh Start grants the IRS greater flexibility in handling applications for offers in compromise. Taxpayers who previously would not have qualified may now have a shot at settling their total debt for less than they actually owe.
  • Expanded access to installment plans. Fresh Start makes it possible for taxpayers with up to $50,000 in debt to make installment payments for 72 months.

How Can You Benefit From the Fresh Start Program?

The Fresh Start program dramatically reduces your risk of suffering a tax lien and related credit issues. Beyond that, however, the program provides a viable path out of tax debt. Depending on your situation, the expanded options for installment payments or offers in compromise could reduce your total tax bill or allow you to pay it over the course of several years.

Interested in resolving your tax debt through an installment plan or an offer in compromise? The Highland Tax Group can help — contact us today to learn how.