Good News For Taxpayers Who Owe Tax Debt – IRS Announces Expanded Relief “People First Initiative”

IRS Announces Expanded Relief People First Initiative

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 – Taxpayers concerned about paying or settling tax debt were treated to good news from the IRS.  Today, the Service announced a new initiative that promises welcome relief to people facing uncertainty over taxes.  The IRS is encouraging all taxpayers owing debt to take advantage of the relief to settle any outstanding tax debt.

As early as April 1 the IRS will begin the following:

  • Installment Agreements
  • Existing Installment Agreements
    • Suspending payments due under existing Installment Agreements, including Direct Deposit Installment Agreements, until July 15
    • The IRS will not default any Installment Agreements during this period.
  • New Installment Agreements
    • Continuing to accept new Installment Agreements.
  • Offers In Compromise (OIC)
  • Pending OIC Applications – Extends time to provide information until July 15.  The IRS will not close any pending OIC requests before July 15 without the taxpayer’s consent.
  • OIC Payments – Taxpayers can choose to stop making payments on accepted OICs until July 15.  Interest will continue to accrue on unpaid balances.
  • Delinquent Returns – The IRS will not default an OIC for taxpayers who are delinquent for filing 2018 taxes as long as 2018 and 2019 are filed on or before July 15.
  • New OIC Applications  – The IRS will continue to take applications from taxpayers whose tax debt exceeds their net worth.
  • Liens and Levies – Liens and levies (including seizures of a personal residence) will be suspended during this period.  Automatic or systemic liens and levies will also be suspended.
  • Passports – The IRS will suspend new certifications to the Department of State, which prevents taxpayers from receiving or renewing passports when they are “seriously delinquent.” 
  • Private Debt Collection – IRS will not forward new delinquent accounts to private collection agencies.
  • Examinations – IRS will not start new examinations, except where necessary to protect the IRS’s interest in preserving the statute of limitations or if the taxpayers request and are able.
  • Earned Income Tax Credit – Taxpayers have until July 15 to verify to the IRS that they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • Independent Office of Appeals – Appeals will continue to work, holding conferences by telephone and videoconference.

Jonathan Mishkin

Jonathan D. Mishkin focuses his practice on tax/trust controversy, estate planning, taxation and closely-held business advisory services with offices in Portland, Bend and West Linn. Drawing on deep experience gained inside both large accounting firms and large law firms, Mr. Mishkin capably advises and counsels individuals, families and their businesses, and trusts/trustees.


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