The Fresh Start Program was created by the IRS for taxpayers to negotiate their tax debts and, hopefully, settle on a resolution. Millions of people owe the United States government billions of dollars in back taxes. Every year, the IRS spends millions more on collection activities that add to the deficit. Through the IRS Fresh Start Program, taxpayers are able to save money, and the IRS is able to spend less and collect more. It’s really a win-win situation…right? At the end of the day, the IRS wants to collect as much money as possible. If you decide to fight the IRS by yourself, it’s important you fully understand your options.
Want to see if you would qualify for the Fresh Start Program? Click here for a free evaluation. 
Payment Plans The IRS will try to put you on a payment plan. A payment plan allows the IRS to collect your debt over time, while still adding interest every year to your balance. The IRS often collects more money from taxpayers who enter into payment plans. The most important thing when applying for a payment plan is settling on a monthly payment that you know you will be able to afford. After reviewing your financials, the IRS will place you on a payment plan that has you paying the highest amount possible. They do this by calculating what you can afford without placing you in a “financial hardship”. Of course, being in a financial hardship is subjective. The IRS calculates the minimum they believe you can survive on based on where you live and how many dependents you claim, and then require your monthly payments be the remaining balance. There are a few caveats with accepting a payment plan with the IRS that you will need to be aware of:
  1. If you ever default on a monthly payment, no matter the reason, the IRS will cancel your payment plan immediately.
  2. Once you default with the Fresh Start Program, it is extremely difficult to reapply successfully.
  3. A defaulted payment plan will result in the IRS beginning extremely aggressive collection activities.
Before committing to a monthly payment plan, it is essential that you are confident you will not default on your payments. It will put you in a far worse position than you are in now.
Would you qualify for the IRS Fresh Start Program? Take our free quiz to check your eligibility now. 
Settlement Offer The IRS also allows you to negotiate your total amount due down. This is what many tax relief companies mean when they say they can save you “pennies on the dollar”. Very few people qualify for a settlement offer because you must first make sure you are completely compliant with the IRS. This means you are not in bankruptcy, and you have filed all of your past tax years. This is where many people get stuck because becoming compliant is often long and complicated work. If you are compliant with the IRS, there are still a number of disqualifying factors you must overcome. To settle with the IRS, you need to be able to prove that you are unable and will never be able to pay off your debt. While many people turn to tax relief companies when dealing with a settlement offer, you are able to represent yourself against the IRS. Be aware, that similarly with the IRS payment plans, if you present a case to the IRS requesting for a settlement plan and get rejected, you strongly lower your chances of being successful finding relief with the IRS in the future. Need Help? Have questions about the IRS Fresh Start Program? See if you qualify for relief by clicking below.