Atlanta has had a wild few years, hasn’t it? Between a global pandemic, a rollercoaster economy and job market and inflation, many of us have faced money troubles at some point during this period. Thankfully, the IRS, of all people, understands and wants to help you.
The IRS launched their Fresh Start program in 2011 and recently updated it to reflect the unique pandemic and post-pandemic world we now live in.
What is the IRS Fresh Start program?
Long story short, if you or your small business are having trouble paying your taxes, or even haven’t filed taxes for a while, this program might be your chance to fix everything in a reasonable, low-stress manner.
It’s tempting to feel like IRS trouble is the end of the world, but it’s not. In fact, it’s surprisingly common for people from all walks of life to find themselves in a tax bind. This is precisely what the Fresh Start program is for, through a process called an “Offer in Compromise” (OIC).
OK, what’s an Offer in Compromise?
Much like it sounds, an OIC is an arrangement between you and the IRS to get yourself out of your tax setback. The “compromise” part means that, if you qualify, you may not have to pay the full amount you owe.
It gets better. An OIC can correct these difficulties in as little as two years, compared to the four and five year schedules of the past.
How do I know if I qualify for Fresh Start?
You have two options: You can make a large pot of coffee and read the Offer in Compromise booklet to see if you qualify. If just thinking about that makes you sleepy, you can contact a tax attorney who can break it down for you in plain English.
I think I qualify, now what?
Again, if you have the time and brain power to spare, you can reach out to the IRS yourself. That said, if you’re not already an accomplished DIY fan, unraveling tax law is probably not the time to start. To adopt a popular saying, the calm guidance of a tax attorney is priceless.