But first – is the IRS Fresh Start program for real?
You do have to wonder, if the IRS Fresh Start Program even legitimate?
Yes, it most certainly is. But the Fresh Start Program isn't just one program – rather the Fresh Start initiatives are new, favorable sets of guidelines for already existing programs, such as:
- IRS Fresh Start Penalty abatement – our firm knows when we can remove a penality as a matter of right. No guess work and there's nothing the IRS can do to stop us.
- IRS Fresh Start Installment agreements – new settlement guidelines make our work a lot less. And we pass on the saving to you. Hiring a tax firm to handle this hassle may not cost as much as you think.
- IRS Fresh Start Offers in compromise – more favorable rules exists – if you know how to take advantage of them. You could settle your taxes for even less than you imagined. But you have to show how collectability is a real issue – an Offer in Compromise is not a magic wand the IRS agrees to "just because" and actually submitting a low-ball offer could really backfire.
- IRS Fresh Start Lien release requests – much better process.
- IRS Fresh Start Business and payroll tax settlement programs – Here we find streamlined settlements – again, hiring the best tax pros to help you may not cost you what you think.
Who qualifies for the IRS Fresh Start Initiative?
In order to qualify for the IRS Fresh Start initiatives for debt settlement or lien withdrawals, generally you'll need a couple of things at a minimum:
- The first is that any missing or unfiled tax returns must be filed. Don't worry – handling years of unfiled tax returns is something we've been doing with great success for close to 20 years!
- The other thing that is typically required is that you are current with your estimated tax payments or your current withholdings are correct, and they have been so for the last 6 months.
If you have a tax situation that is causing you undue strain, feel free to contact us for help.
A warning on unfield returns with foreign income and assets
Now things get trickier with unfiled returns if there is foreign income or foreign assets involved. In that case, you may want to use one of the offshore amnesties — even if you had no criminal intent. Why? Many of the forms for offshore assets and income have penalties that can easily exceed taxes due. By using one of the offshore disclosure amnesties, you limit your risk to these penalties.
But again these are all things our firm looks out for – all the things you should be doing but were never told.
This page was last updated 12-14-2019 to reflect new changes.