In 2012, the IRS instituted additional Fresh Start initiatives to help struggling taxpayers pay their taxes. As part of these initiatives, the IRS relaxed streamlined installment agreement rules for individuals by increasing the threshold from $25,000 to $50,000, and the time to pay from 60 months to 72 months. The IRS also increased the qualifying amount for business trust fund express installment agreements from $10,000 to $25,000 to help businesses pay employment taxes and avoid the filing of a federal tax lien.
In 2012, the IRS made significant changes to its offer in compromise (OIC) program terms to provide more access to the program. The IRS revised the future income calculation and made changes to allow taxpayers more expenses in determining the offer amount. In 2012, these changes allowed many more taxpayers to qualify for and receive an OIC.
Installment agreement and OIC changes in 2012 were part of a multi-year effort by the IRS to help struggling taxpayers with better payment alternatives. In 2013, we will likely continue to see a kinder, gentler IRS in regard to payment alternatives.
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