Common Questions and Answers about IRS Fresh Start Initiative Programs

Every country functions by implementing specific tax standards that require general citizens to pay a certain percentage of their income to the governing body in charge. The amount collected from the general public as tax is then utilized to enhance and improve the infrastructure and other relevant services meant for ordinary people. However, the general public often faces issues meeting the tax requirements due to personal commitments. Therefore, the IRS Fresh Start initiative program is imposed to bring about a sense of ease within the minds of the common folk.

This program offers taxpayers additional time to pay off taxes or reduce the overall tax amount owed. The program safeguards the taxpayer against unreasonable taxes and tries to secure them financially in the future. The amount of the tax to be paid gets significantly reduced. Therefore, everyday people must be aware of the IRS program’s fresh start standards before making the final payment to the government as tax.

To better understand the concept, we have highlighted some of the most essential questions related to the fresh start programs, coupled with relevant answers.

Common Questions and Answers about IRS Fresh Start Initiative Programs

The IRS Fresh Start initiative program is a dynamic program consisting of various plans to reduce the tax imposed. Depending on their financial condition, one can sign up for penalty abatement, installment plan, etc., and get the relief. 

As much as the program is fruitful, there are always some doubts and confusion that need to be addressed so that the maximum number of people can benefit from it. The following are some general questions and answers to them one needs to know before becoming a beneficiary of this program:

What is the IRS Fresh Start Initiative Program?

It is an initiative by the federal government to reduce the amount of tax imposed on people who are not financially strong enough to pay the tax debt. It was introduced in 2011 by the government and aims to secure taxpayers’ future and free from any obligations.

What are the qualification criteria for becoming a beneficiary of this program?

To avail of the benefits of this program, you must have outstanding tax debts with the IRS. The detailed eligibility criteria are present on their site. You can go through the area before applying for the program. The eligibility varies from one plan to another depending on the relief plan you want to benefit from.

Can one negotiate for a settlement to pay less than the total amount owed through the Fresh Start program?

Yes. You can sign up for the Offer in Compromise plan, enabling the taxpayer to pay less than they actually owe to the IRS. The eligibility criteria of this particular plan are stringent, and you can seek guidance from a professional tax expert to fit in the frame.

Can this program help with past-due tax returns?

Yes. The program helps the taxpayer who has not yet filed the tax. Generally, all your past dues with the IRS must be precise and current for availing of this program.

How long is the approval process for this fresh start program?

The time for approval varies from one plan to the other. Each program has its own criteria and credentials to be filled, and the time is taken accordingly. The time required for the approval also depends on the individual financial condition of the taxpayer. For more accurate estimation, one can seek help from a professional tax expert who would navigate them through the entire process and guess the time accurately.

How does participation in the IRS Fresh Start Initiative Program affect the credit score?

Participation in this program is beneficial for your credit score. It has a positive effect on the credit score of the taxpayer. When the taxpayer resolves his/her tax debts, the tax liens are removed, and the credit score improves. The program also helps the taxpayer scrap the penalty, and when penalties are removed, the credit score is affected positively.

Does the Fresh Start program offer relief from tax penalties?

Yes, the program has a plan named penalty abatement under it. You can sign up for this plan according to eligibility and remove penalties for late deposition of the tax.

Will applying for this program trigger an IRS audit?

When you apply for this program, it will not automatically trigger an IRS audit. However, a detailed review of your tax situation can sometimes lead to a possible audit.

Can one apply for this program while being in bankruptcy?

Yes, the program allows individuals in bankruptcy to participate. Specific eligibility criteria must be met, but you can benefit from the program after fulfilling them.

How long does the Fresh Start Program last?

There is no specific duration for this program. The length of participation will depend on the plan you have chosen to get the relief and the time taken to resolve the tax debt.

Will the tax debt continue to accumulate interest while being in the fresh start program?

Even if you benefit from this program, the interest will accumulate until you completely resolve the tax. You must quickly clear your tax debt with the IRS to avoid the claim.

Is there any fee to participate in the Fresh Start program?

There is no fee if you want to participate in this program. Yes, but if you opt for a tax professional to help you through the process, you would have to pay them.


As already stated, this program is dynamic, so it is natural to develop queries. People should study the entire tax relief program and seek direct professional assistance to gain complete information. Be sure to conduct thorough online research to learn more about the IRS Fresh Start initiative programs.


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