The IRS Expands “Fresh Start” Program, More Options for Offer in Compromise

by Harry Galstian

May 17, 2013

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced another expansion of its “Fresh Start” program by offering more flexible terms to its Offer in Compromise (OIC) program designed to help financially distressed taxpayers resolve tax problems more quickly. The Offer in Compromise is an IRS program that allows taxpayers to settle their back taxes for considerably less.

“This phase of Fresh Start will assist some taxpayers who have faced the most financial hardship in recent years,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “It is part of our multiyear effort to help taxpayers who are struggling to make ends meet.”

The new IRS Offer in Compromise rules include:

Revising the calculation for the taxpayer’s future income

IRS now looks at only one year of future income for offers paid in five or fewer months, down from four years, and two years of future income for offers paid in six to 24 months, down from five years. All offers must be fully paid within 24 months of the date the offer is accepted.

Allowing taxpayers to repay their student loans

Minimum payments on student loans guaranteed by the federal government will be allowed for the taxpayers after high school education.

According to tax specialist Harry Galstian from Direct Tax Relief, “In the past years, the Internal Revenue Service consistently applied its Offer in Compromise rules with respect to the taxpayer’s financial situation; therefore, a good majority of taxpayers who applied for the Offer in Compromise program got rejected. This new policy is going to assist more taxpayers that are suffering due to the economic crisis and have a financial hardship.”

Allowing taxpayers to pay state and local delinquent taxes

Monthly payments to state taxing authorities may be allowed in certain circumstances if taxpayers owe delinquent federal and state or local taxes and do not have the ability to fully pay the liabilities.

Expanding the Allowable Living Expense allowance category and amount

Standard allowances incorporate average expenses for basic necessities for citizens in similar geographic areas. These standards are used in cases requiring financial analysis to determine a taxpayer’s ability to pay. The National Standard miscellaneous allowance has been stretched. Taxpayers can use the allowance to cover expenses such as credit card payments and bank fees and charges.

Direct Tax Relief is an A-Rated company and accredited by the Better Business Bureau that consists of tax attorneys and Enrolled Agents.  The firm represents taxpayers from all 50 states and focuses on providing quality professional services at reasonable rates. Direct Tax Relief has successfully negotiated settlements for their clients at an average of 12 cents on the dollar.  For a free tax relief consultation regarding the IRS Fresh Start Program and or other tax problems, you may call (800) 505-4134.