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The IRS provides options for paying back your taxes

No one wants the IRS to tell them they owe back taxes. The failure to pay such taxes can result in tax liens, penalties, and criminal prosecution. Yet the IRS does provide such individuals certain options.

Not too long ago, the IRS released an announcement concerning a program to provide taxpayers a fresh start. According to the IRS, this program helps individuals and small businesses find options to pay tax debt.

The IRS Fresh Start Program contains three important components:

  1. The avoidance of tax liens: The IRS increased the threshold taxpayers need to owe prior to filing of a Notice of Federal Tax Lien. This increased amount is $10,000. (However, the IRS also notes that there are circumstances where filing of a tax lien is possible when the amount is less than $10,000.) Specific taxpayers may have a lien withdrawn when filing Form 12277 requesting withdrawal of the lien.
  2. Installment agreement payments: The IRS has also increased the ability for individual taxpayers to enter into a streamlined installment agreement. Such individuals can set up a monthly electronic debt payment for a period of up to six years when owing $50,000 or less. While there is no requirement for taxpayers to provide a financial statement to qualify for this agreement, taxpayers may need to provide certain financial information.
  3. Entrance into an Officer in Compromise: Offers in Compromise are often an attractive option for those owing back taxes. This can allow taxpayers to pay back tax debt for less than what the taxpayer may owe. The IRS states it generally will accept such offers if the compromise amount represents the maximum the IRS could expect to collect “within a reasonable period of time.”

Michigan taxpayers need to understand that they are not out of luck when owing back taxes. Still, it’s useful to speak to experienced tax attorneys about your circumstances to find out the options available.

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