IRS offers new options for those struggling to pay their tax bills because of COVID-19
The Internal Revenue Service helps struggling taxpayers impacted by COVID-19 more easily settle their tax debts.
"The IRS understands that many taxpayers face challenges, and we're working hard to help people facing issues paying their tax bills," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "Following up on our People First Initiative earlier this year, this next phase of our efforts will help with further taxpayer relief efforts."
The highlights of the Taxpayer Relief Initiative:
Taxpayers who qualify for a short-term payment plan option may now have up to 180 days to resolve their tax liabilities instead of 120 days.
The IRS is offering flexibility for some taxpayers who are temporarily unable to meet the payment terms of an accepted Offer in Compromise.
The IRS will automatically add certain new tax balances to existing Installment Agreements, for individual and out of business taxpayers. This taxpayer-friendly approach will occur instead of defaulting the agreement, which can complicate matters for those trying to pay their taxes.
To reduce burden, certain qualified individual taxpayers who owe less than $250,000 may set up Installment Agreements without providing a financial statement or substantiation if their monthly payment proposal is sufficient.
Some individual taxpayers who only owe for the 2019 tax year and who owe less than $250,000 may qualify to set up an Installment Agreement without a notice of federal tax lien filed by the IRS.
Additionally, qualified taxpayers with existing Direct Debit Installment Agreements may now be able to use the Online Payment Agreement system to propose lower monthly payment amounts and change their payment due dates.
Additional options and tools to assist taxpayers who owe taxes
The IRS offers options for short-term and long-term payment plans, including Installment Agreements via the Online Payment Agreement (OPA) system.
- individuals who owe $50,000 or less in combined income tax, penalties and interest
- businesses that owe $25,000 or less combined that have filed all tax returns
The IRS offers additional tools to assist taxpayers who owe taxes:
Temporarily Delaying Collection — Taxpayers can contact the IRS to request a temporary delay of the collection process. If the IRS determines a taxpayer is unable to pay, it may delay collection until the taxpayer's financial condition improves.
Offer in Compromise — Certain taxpayers qualify to settle their tax bill for less than the amount they owe by submitting an Offer in Compromise. To help determine eligibility, use the Offer in Compromise Pre-Qualifier tool. Now, the IRS is offering additional flexibility for some taxpayers who are temporarily unable to meet the payment terms of an accepted offer in compromise.
Relief from Penalties — The IRS is highlighting reasonable cause assistance available for taxpayers with failure to file, pay and deposit penalties. First-time penalty abatement relief is also available for the first time a taxpayer is subject to one or more of these tax penalties.