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IRS Fresh Start Program Check | Make Sure You Are Eligible For Tax Debt Relief



IRS Fresh Start Program Check | Make Sure You Are Eligible For Tax Debt Relief

IRS Fresh Start Program Check | Make Sure You Are Eligible For Tax Debt Relief. The IRS Fresh Start Program, an initiative by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), offers a lifeline to individuals burdened with tax debt. This program allows taxpayers to manage and eventually eliminate their tax debts, providing a crucial financial reprieve. To avail of this opportunity, it’s essential to understand the eligibility criteria and the various relief options it offers.

Understanding IRS Fresh Start Program

The IRS recognized that tax debt disproportionately affects middle-class individuals and introduced the Fresh Start Program in 2011. This initiative aims to ease the tax debt burden by providing taxpayers with extended repayment terms, sparing them from immediate penalties and high-interest rates.

Five Relief Programs under IRS Fresh Start

The IRS Fresh Start Program comprises five distinct relief programs, each tailored to specific circumstances:

  • Offer in Compromise (OIC)
  • Installment Agreements (IA)
  • Currently Non-Collectible
  • Penalty Abatement
  • Innocent Spouse Relief

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility for these programs varies, but it’s important to note that every taxpayer with tax debt may potentially benefit from this program. To determine your eligibility, you need to meet certain qualifications, as outlined below:

IRS Fresh Start Program Eligibility Criteria

  • Self-employed individuals with a minimum 25% reduction in annual income.
  • Single taxpayers with an annual income below $100,000.
  • Married couples with a combined annual income below $200,000.
  • Tax debt amounting to less than $50,000.
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Typically, those who qualify for the IRS Fresh Start Program receive up to five years to settle their tax debt, shielding them from hefty penalties and interest rates.

Benefits of IRS Fresh Start Program

Each of the five IRS Fresh Start programs offers distinct benefits, with Offer in Compromise (OIC) and Installment Agreements (IA) being the most commonly utilized options. Here’s a closer look at these two programs:

Offer in Compromise (OIC)

The OIC program provides relief based on an individual’s current financial situation. Taxpayers can substantially reduce their tax debt amount, with some receiving up to a 90% exemption. To utilize OIC for tax debt relief, it is advisable to enlist the services of a tax professional to accurately represent your financial condition in your application.

Installment Agreements (IA)

IA is the most frequently used program within the IRS Fresh Start initiative. It allows individuals with tax debt up to $50,000 to pay it off over a span of six years, free from interest rates and penalties. Under this program, taxpayers need not worry about tax liens, wage garnishments, or asset seizure. The fixed monthly payments over the six-year period make it a practical choice for those unable to make lump sum payments.


The IRS Fresh Start Program offers a valuable opportunity for individuals grappling with tax debt to regain financial stability. By understanding the eligibility criteria and the relief options available, taxpayers can navigate their way out of tax debt and avoid the financial challenges associated with heavy penalties and interest rates.

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