What exactly is the IRS “fresh start initiative” and is there any benefit for a small business?
The IRS Fresh Start Initiative is part of IRS’s refined tax collection process. The goal of this program, implemented in early 2011, is to make IRS tax payment easier for small businesses. Your business can make monthly payments through an installment agreement if you’re not financially able to pay your tax debt immediately. It is important to note that you will reduce or eliminate the amount of penalties and interest you pay and avoid the fee associated with setting up an installment agreement if you pay your tax bill in full.
Small businesses who currently have employees can qualify for an In-Business Trust Fund Express Installment Agreement (IBTF-Express IA). These installment agreements generally do not require a financial statement or financial verification as part of the application process.
The criteria to qualify for an IBTF-Express IA are:
- You owe $25,000 or less at the time the agreement is established. If you owe more than $25,000, you may pay down the liability before entering into the agreement in order to qualify.
- The debt must be paid within 24-months or prior to the Collection Statute Expiration Date (CSED), whichever is earlier.
- You must enroll in a Direct Debit Installment Agreement (DDIA) if the amount you owe is between $10,000 and $25,000.
- You must be compliant with all filing and payment requirements.
To Request an In-Business Trust Fund Express Installment Agreement, contact your local IRS office.
** Speaking of taxes, don’t forget the deadline to distribute W-2’s and 1099’s to your employees and contractors was January 31st. Additionally, the deadline for filing Form 940 (Employer’s Annual Federal Unemployment Tax Return Tax Form) was also January 31st.
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