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What Is The IRS Fresh Start Program?


  • The IRS Fresh Start Program is designed to help taxpayers struggling with tax debt. It offers various options, such as installment agreements and penalty relief, to make it easier for individuals and businesses to pay their taxes.
  • Incredible programs are here to help you conquer your tax debt. With the installment agreement, you can pay off what you owe over time, giving you the flexibility and freedom to manage your finances. And if that’s not enough, our Offer in Compromise is a game-changer – it allows you to settle your debt for less than the total amount if you can demonstrate financial hardship. We’re here to support and empower you every step of the way!
  • To qualify for this program, you must meet specific requirements set by the IRS. These requirements may differ depending on the type of relief you’re seeking. For example, to be eligible for an installment agreement, you must owe $50,000 or less in total tax, penalties, and interest and have a clean record of filing all necessary tax returns.
  • Completing the Program offers significant benefits. Your credit standing improves as liens are removed. It’s a practical solution to avoid the consequences of tax evasion, providing taxpayers with a feasible plan to repay their taxes.

You may be eligible for the IRS Fresh Start Initiative if you or your business has open tax debt. It’s a valuable program run by the IRS to help struggling taxpayers.


Video Explanation


  • Benefits of the IRS Fresh Start Program:
    • These programs helps taxpayers settle their tax debts over an extended period, preventing financial strain.
    • It can halt aggressive IRS collection actions like levies or wage garnishments.
    • Taxpayers can negotiate the amount owed through an Offer in Compromise (OIC).
    • Reduction or removal of penalties and interest charges for eligible taxpayers.
    • Opportunity to reinstate revoked passports due to tax debt.

Success Stories

  • Case studies showcasing taxpayers who have avoided wage garnishments.
  • Examples of individuals who successfully reduced their tax debts through the OIC.
  • Stories of taxpayers who reinstated their passports after resolving tax debts.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Learn About The IRS Fresh Start Program:
    • Taxpayers must owe the IRS $50,000 or less.
    • They should be able to pay off their debt within six years.
    • The taxpayer must be current with all filing IRS Fresh Start Program requirements.
    • An active installment agreement should not already be in place.

How To Qualify For The Initiative

  • How to qualify for the IRS Fresh Start Program:
    • Individuals must owe the IRS and not exceed the debt limit.
    • The taxpayer should have a means of repaying the debt within the installment agreement period.
    • All tax returns for previous years must be filed.

Limitations and Restrictions

  • The program doesn’t cover taxpayers who owe more than $50,000.
  • Not all penalties and interest may be waived.
  • Not every taxpayer is granted an Offer in Compromise.

Steps to Take After Completion

  • Ensure to file all future tax returns on time to avoid accruing new tax debt.
  • A long-term financial plan should be made to avoid future tax issues.

Resources Available for Participants of the Program

  • IRS’s official website provides detailed information about the program.
  • IRS-sponsored free tax clinics for taxpayers and seniors making low incomes.
  • Third-party tax professionals or organizations offering assistance.

Tips for Maximizing the Benefits

  • Ensure to apply promptly as soon as you become aware of tax debt.
  • Use the Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier tool to see if you qualify for OIC.
  • Seek professional tax help if the process seems overwhelming.

How To Apply:

You can apply for the Offer In Compromise Here:

To qualify for the program, you must fill out and submit Form 1127A or Form 8821.

  • Additionally, those unable to pay the total amount due may be able to settle their balance through an Offer in Compromise (OIC) or Partial Payment Installment Agreement (PPIA).
  • One of the most important things that newbies should know about this program is that it can help them get out of debt faster than they would if they just tried to make payments on time each month.
  • Another key point is that it may not always be possible for everyone who applies; specific requirements must be met before someone can become eligible for this program.
  • Finally, while the Program does offer some relief from liability associated with unpaid taxes, its essential for people using it to understand all of the details so they dont end up worse off than before!
  • Try The Calculator here.

Who Qualifies For The Program?

IRS Fresh Start Program Benefits And Understanding The Process


Taxpayers who qualify for the program are those ready to pay their tax debt through installments paid over a specific period and decided based on a repayment structure.

If you are an individual taxpayer happy to repay the debts you owe in a series of installments with a direct payment structure, you could benefit from the program. This agreement allows qualified individuals to pay off their taxes in smaller, more manageable amounts over some time, with limited penalties on tax liability.

The IRS will consider your ability to pay, current income and expenses, and asset equity in determining what they believe you can reasonably repay.

Each option has a different procedure, qualifications, and application process.

You have to meet the requirements listed below:

  • You owe less than $50,000 or more than $50,000, but you can reduce your debts to this amount before starting the program.
  • You can pay off your outstanding debt in less than 60 months.
  • Your tax return is filed and up to date.
  • This is the first time you’ve fallen behind on payments to the IRS
  • You will agree to a direct payment installment agreement
  • You will maintain the installment agreement, keep up to date with tax filings, and will not incur further tax debt while you are paying your installments
  • You will file for OIC and can pay off the agreed settlement amount within 12 months.

IRS Fresh Start Program Eligibility 

As a first-time debtor, you may also be eligible for a reduction of specific penalties. For example, if you owe less than $25,000 or you can reduce your debts to this amount before starting the program, you may also qualify to have a federal tax lien removed.

The program offers three repayment options: an extended installment agreement, a tax lien withdrawal, and an offer in compromise.


For more information on how to apply, please get in touch with us for a free tax case review.

  • Does tax debt weigh down your business?
    • You’re eligible if your company owes less than $25,000 and can pay it off in 34 months! Just make sure your federal tax filings and payments are up to date.
  • Need help catching up on IRS payments for the first time?
    • Fill out Form 433-A Collection Information Statement for Wage Earners and Self-Employed Individuals.
    • And here’s a tip: take advantage of the qualified business income deduction to slash your small business’s income taxes. Our goal is to make those payments manageable so you can stay on track without any financial strain.
  • Have questions about eligibility or want to apply?
    • Contact our team of qualified, experienced, and friendly tax professionals now. Get a free tax case review today and discover how to seize this opportunity!

Expert History Of The Initiative

At the beginning of its establishment, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recognized the need to assist taxpayers facing difficulties with their outstanding debts. Throughout its history, various plans and programs were initiated to meet these needs. Among these initiatives, one notable program was Fresh Start. It began as a vision to simplify payment plans and offer leniency to individuals in financial distress.

When the program was launched, the IRS created specialized software tools to streamline the process and ensure accurate evaluations. As the program evolved, training was initiated for internal staff to stay abreast of the changes and provide the best services possible. This training also helped them adeptly navigate the newly established software platforms and set up a schedule for effective implementation.

Over time, taxpayers found this initiative invaluable, making the program one of the most celebrated ones in revenue collection. With the program’s ability to initiate structured payment plans, those falling back on their dues found a compassionate route toward resolution. The program, thus, stands as a testament to the IRS’s commitment to aiding its citizens while ensuring a consistent revenue stream.

How Can We Help?

Our Expert Information

The IRS Fresh Start Program is an initiative to assist taxpayers, individuals, and businesses facing tax debt challenges. It offers a range of options for settling tax liabilities, including:

  1. Expanded Installment Agreements: Taxpayers are provided with more lenient terms, allowing them to pay off their debts over a more extended period without extensive financial documentation.
  2. Offers in Compromise (OIC): This option lets eligible taxpayers negotiate to settle their tax debt for less than the total amount owed, especially if paying the full amount would cause undue hardship.
  3. Penalty Relief and Reduction in Interest Charges: Qualified taxpayers may experience a significant reduction in penalties and interest charges on their outstanding tax debts.
  4. Streamlined Application Process: Taxpayers can apply for the program online or through the mail by submitting the necessary forms and documentation.
  5. Relief for Federal Tax Liens: Taxpayers can request lien withdrawals after meeting specific criteria, like entering into a direct debit installment agreement.

To qualify, taxpayers must adhere to specific eligibility criteria, including filing all required tax returns, being current on estimated tax payments, and meeting specific income levels and tax debt amounts. The program emphasizes compliance with future tax obligations, providing a fresh start for struggling taxpayers. However, not all taxpayers will qualify for every aspect of the program, as it depends on individual circumstances. Consulting a tax professional before applying is advisable to clearly understand one’s financial situation and the program’s applicability.


  • We offer financial hardship assistance.
  • We can prepare your applications and advise you on the appropriate next steps.
  • We will help set up your IRS payment plan.
  • We are tax debt relief experts on your side!