01 Jun How to Get a ‘Fresh Start’ with the IRS
Posted at 00:00h in Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), Amended Tax Return, Appeals & Audit Resolution, Back Taxes Owed, Business Expense, Colorado Department of Revenue, Disallowed Expenses, Intent To Levy, Intent To Lien, IRS Appeal, IRS Audit, IRS Collections, IRS Enforcement, IRS Examination, IRS Levy, IRS Lien, IRS Mediation, IRS Penalties, IRS Penalty and Interest Abatement, Non-filed Tax Returns, Paying Taxes, Payroll Tax Problems, Rental Real Estate, Self Employ, Small Business, Tax Problems & Requests, Tax Relief
According to IR-2011-20 published on Feb. 24, 2011, in its latest effort to help struggling taxpayers, the Internal Revenue Service announced a series of new steps to help people get a fresh start with their tax liabilities. The goal is to help individuals and small businesses meet their tax obligations, without adding unnecessary burden to taxpayers. Specifically, the IRS is announcing new policies and programs to help taxpayers pay back taxes and avoid tax liens. The changes include:
Significantly increasing the dollar threshold when liens are generally issued, resulting in fewer tax liens.
Making it easier for taxpayers to obtain lien withdrawals after paying a tax bill.
Withdrawing liens in most cases where a taxpayer enters into a Direct Debit Installment Agreement.
Creating easier access to Installment Agreements for more struggling small businesses.
Expanding a streamlined Offer in Compromise program to cover more taxpayers.
Tax Lien Thresholds
The IRS will significantly increase the dollar thresholds when liens are generally filed. The new dollar amount is in keeping with inflationary changes since the number was last revised. Currently, liens are automatically filed at certain dollar levels for people with past-due balances.
The IRS plans to review the results and impact of the lien threshold change in about a year.
A federal tax lien gives the IRS a legal claim to a taxpayer’s property for the amount of an unpaid tax debt. Filing a Notice of Federal Tax Lien is necessary to establish priority rights against certain other creditors. Usually the government is not the only creditor to whom the taxpayer owes money.
A lien informs the public that the U.S. government has a claim against all property, and any rights to property, of the taxpayer. This includes property owned at the time the notice of lien is filed and any acquired thereafter. A lien can affect a taxpayer’s credit rating, so it is critical to arrange the payment of taxes as quickly as possible.
Tax Lien Withdrawals
The IRS will also modify procedures that will make it easier for taxpayers to obtain lien withdrawals.
Liens will now be withdrawn once full payment of taxes is made if the taxpayer requests it. The IRS has determined that this approach is in the best interest of the government.
In order to speed the withdrawal process, the IRS will also streamline its internal procedures to allow collection personnel to withdraw the liens.
Direct Debit Installment Agreements and Liens
The IRS is making other fundamental changes to liens in cases where taxpayers enter into a Direct Debit Installment Agreement (DDIA). For taxpayers with unpaid assessments of $25,000 or less, the IRS will now allow lien withdrawals under several scenarios:
Lien withdrawals for taxpayers entering into a Direct Debit Installment Agreement.
The IRS will withdraw a lien if a taxpayer on a regular Installment Agreement converts to a Direct Debit Installment Agreement.
The IRS will also withdraw liens on existing Direct Debit Installment greements upon taxpayer request.