The Fresh Start Program is a way the IRS helps taxpayers tackle their outstanding tax debt. This program has been available since 2011, with more refinements made over time. Overall, the program represents important changes in how the IRS evaluates and processes payment options and agreements. The basic premise is that most individuals with $50,000 or less in tax debt can arrange an installment agreement to meet their tax obligation without completing a lengthy financial statement. This is good news for citizens with outstanding tax debt.

How the IRS Handles Installment Payments

If you owe less than $50,000 in outstanding tax debt, the Fresh Start Program allows an installment agreement through monthly direct debit payments over a period of 72 months or less. Under the terms of the Fresh Start Program, you may not have to provide a financial statement to qualify for this arrangement. Use IRS Form 9465 to request a monthly installment plan if you cannot pay the full amount you owe. If your tax debt exceeds $50,000, you may still qualify for an installment agreement; however, the IRS will require you to provide a financial statement and complete Form 433-A or Form 433-F.

How the IRS Treats Tax Liens

Under the Fresh Start Program, the IRS will not generally file a notice of tax lien unless your tax debt exceeds $25,000. After a lien is filed, your outstanding debt must be set up on direct debit payments (Form 433-D) over 72 months or less. Moreover, even after a lien is filed, the Fresh Start Program may allow you to have the notice of lien withdrawn. After three on-time debit payments have been made and your tax liability has dropped under $25,000, you can file IRS Form 12277 to apply for release of the lien.

How Can You Qualify for the IRS Fresh Start Program?

Because the Fresh Start Program is a collection of different tax relief options, each alternative has different criteria. Here are the simple requirements all who wish to apply must meet:

  • You must owe $50,000 or less in tax debt
  • You must have a checking account that allows for direct debit payments
  • You must be current on filing all your tax returns
  • You must be current with any estimated tax payments or the current tax year

During your installment agreement to avoid default:

  • You must remain current on all estimated tax payments
  • You must not miss a payment on your installment agreement

If you are interested in how the IRS Fresh Start Program can help you get a handle on your tax debt, contact the tax professionals at Reliance Tax Group. We offer a free comprehensive analysis of your current tax situation along with a detailed course of action. Our tax experts can walk you through the steps of the Fresh Start Program to help erase your tax debt as quickly as possible. Our services are always contracted for a flat fee with absolutely no hidden extra charges. Contact us online, email or call (720) 452-2915 and let us help you turn your tax situation around.