As it turns out, calling it the IRS Fresh Start Program is a bit misleading. The IRS Fresh Start tax amnesty guidelines probably won't surprise you because they're just a repackaged version of what you've seen before. Honestly, the whole program would be better-called something along the lines of the "IRS Mildly Revised Set of Guidelines For Programs Already in Place," although that just doesn't have the same ring to it. The name "Fresh Start" is there to draw people in; it promises something it can't necessarily deliver.
We've already looked at some of the IRS Fresh Start Program myths, including discussing how the IRS was using the program to close their cases quicker. Unfortunately, and I really do mean it, the program was not created to give you a fresh start. The program was put into place to get the IRS their money! <quiet voice> There are advantages to the Fresh Start, if you know how to use them.</quiet voice>
The IRS makes some (mostly) slight changes to guidelines that they already have in place, give the "new" program a promising name, and they can close their cases and get your money as fast as they can. <quiet voice> unless you know how the game works, and use those rules to your advantage</quiet voice>
Who are you going to call? Not the Fresh Start Program!
It's difficult to believe, but there is no IRS Fresh Start Program phone number. This just plays off what we looked at above, but if there's no phone to call, how can the program really exist? If you decide — whether on your own or with the help of your hired tax professional — that the IRS Fresh Start has the potential to benefit you (and there are circumstances where these revised guidelines can be beneficial), you're going to speak to the same IRS staff that you would otherwise.
There's no special staff, no special training, and no special treatment. It's the normal collections staff, the same ACS (automated collection services), revenue officers, agents, appeals, and even tax courts. No matter how you spin it, it's just not different enough to warrant a brand new name (especially one as promising as the IRS Fresh Start Program). The IRS Fresh Start tax amnesty guidelines are really just the same old rules with a fresh coat of paint.
You can paint it any color you want, but it's not going to make it any stronger.It's a tough reality, but if it's too good to be true, then it probably is. The lack of specialized contact for the "program" shows us what we already have figured out to be true – a fresh start requires knowledge, hard work, and motivation. There's no magic wand and there's no magic program. Tax resolution requires effort. If you have a tax issue you need assistance with, contact us for help.