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San Jose, CA tax law attorney for IRS installment agreementsCompliance with tax laws is a requirement for people and businesses in the United States, but some taxpayers may struggle to pay the taxes they owe. A person who has unpaid taxes may worry that they will be subject to collection actions by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) such as wage garnishment or tax liens. Currently, this is a major concern for those who have experienced financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of its ongoing efforts to address these issues, the IRS has given taxpayers more options for paying the taxes they owe through installment agreements.

Installment Agreements Under the Taxpayer Relief Initiative

Taxpayers with outstanding tax liabilities have the option to pay off the amount they owe over time by making regular payments to the IRS. To qualify for an installment agreement, a taxpayer will need to have filed all required tax returns and tax forms. To address the financial issues that many people have experienced due to the COVID-19 crisis, the IRS has created a Taxpayer Relief Initiative that has expanded people’s ability to use installment agreements. The changes made under this program include:

  • While installment agreements had previously been available to individual taxpayers who owed up to $50,000 in taxes, penalties, and interest, this option is now available for certain individual taxpayers who owe up to $250,000. These taxpayers may be able to set up installment agreements without the requirement to provide financial statements verifying their monthly income and without the need for the IRS to file a federal tax lien.
  • The time limit for paying off tax debts through short-term installment agreement plans has been increased from 120 days to 180 days.
  • For taxpayers who have existing installment agreements, the IRS will automatically add certain types of taxes owed in subsequent tax years to their balance rather than causing them to default on their agreement.
  • Taxpayers who use direct debit to make payments in an installment agreement can use the IRS’s Online Payment Agreement system to request changes to their agreement, such as lowering the amount of their payments or changing the payment due dates.

The Taxpayer Relief Initiative also provides several other options for those who owe taxes. In some cases, taxpayers may request that the IRS delay collection of taxes until their financial situation improves. Taxpayers may also be able to negotiate offers in compromise with the IRS to pay taxes owed, or they may qualify for penalty abatement relief if they can show reasonable cause for failure to file tax returns or failure to pay taxes.

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