IRS Fresh Start Program Myths


Does the "new" IRS Fresh Start Program make tax resolution easy?

  • Each individual still has to have their financials prepared and completed.
  • There are no new guarantees, which is really a shame. 
  • Where we have seen some success with the IRS Fresh Start Program is in the speed of acceptance of some of our presented offers and installment agreements.


That's not saying that the program itself is a wash. When it comes down to it, there's no magic wand for fixing tax problems. There are problems that can be solved with certain programs and particularly favorable guidelines. The important part is making sure to find the program that offer solutions for your particular case.  


IRS Fresh Start Program Myth: The IRS cares about you and will help you out

This is probably the saddest myth of the bunch. I want to assume the best of people and I want to believe that our government is watching out for us. But I can't. As someone who goes to bat for my clients day after day, I've had to shed any last thread of belief that the IRS cares about me or any of my clients. They care about our wallets and our bank accounts, but not us.


One of our attorneys, Bob, was recently engaged in an interesting conversation with an IRS agent. In this particular conversation, Bob had to carefully explain tax code to an IRS agent. This is a tragic and repeated truth – you can never trust the IRS to know their own rules. This goes doubly with the Fresh Start Program. The new rules are being added on top of a massive set of old rules set forth in the tax code. 


Never believe that the IRS cares about you; it's in their best interest to find a quick way to get you to pay so that they can close your case.


IRS Fresh Start Program Myth: Never pay the IRS again

This is more of a half-truth. Chances are you're going to have to pay something back to the IRS. When we hear "Fresh Start" it makes us think that the debt will just disappear. Poof! It's gone and we can wash our hands of it. That's just not the case. You're probably going to have to pay back your debt — whether a fraction of what you owe or a sizable sum — and the Fresh Start Program won't change that. 


However, there is a light here, and it's the CSED. The CSED – Collection Statute Limitation Date — means that there's a timer on your debt. When that timer runs out, the IRS is plumb out of luck. Once the CSED has reached its expiration, the IRS can no longer collect. This is why they want to get the debts resolved ASAP.


One other way to completely erase tax debt is by filing bankruptcy. This is a very convoluted and complex matter, so finding a bankruptcy attorney versed in dealing with the IRS is absolutely necessary. It's not a perfect option for most people, but sometimes it can be better than negotiating a deal with the IRS.


IRS Fresh Start Program Myth: The Fresh Start Program allows for the abatement of interest and penalties

There's not much to say here other than wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. The IRS Fresh Start Program does nothing for abatement or penalties. Whereas the states can institute amnesty periods to help people come forward and pay their taxes within a certain time, the IRS will never do this. The states need the money, so they're willing to push for a deal that gets it to them. The IRS wants the full amount, and the IRS Fresh Start Program does nothing to change that. They never wave debt or interest.


Behind all of these myths is a simple statement: go in with a cautious mind, make sure you have all the necessary information and have created a solid defense, and if you feel completely overwhelmed, contact us. We can help figure out which tax debt relief program is best for your particular case. Call us at 888-727-8796 or email info@irsmedic.com. Any information you share with us will be kept confidential.