Collection News: The Internal Revenue Announces Changes to its Collection Program

On February 24, 2011, the IRS issued a press release announcing the steps it is taking to make its collection program to help individuals and businesses meet their tax obligations without adding an unnecessary tax burden to taxpayers.  IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman stated, “these steps are in the best interest of both taxpayers and the tax system and people will have a better chance to stay current on their taxes and keep their financial house in order.”

In accordance with the IRS’ Press Release

Today’s announcement centers on the IRS making important changes to its lien filing practices that will lessen the negative impact on taxpayers. The changes include:

  • Significantly increasing the dollar threshold when liens are generally issued, resulting in fewer tax liens.
  • Making it easier for taxpayers to obtain lien withdrawals after paying a tax bill.
  • Withdrawing liens in most cases where a taxpayer enters into a Direct Debit Installment Agreement.
  • Creating easier access to Installment Agreements for more struggling small businesses.
  • Expanding a streamlined Offer in Compromise program to cover more taxpayers

In the past thirty years, we have watched the Internal Revenue Service attempt to collect taxes from the taxpayers under a number of regimes and via numerous programs.   It remains to be seen how the IRS’ announced intentions will translate into the reality taxpayers face when dealing with alleged taxes owed. We do, however, find it encouraging that the IRS now acknowledges the many hardships and sometimes draconian consequences of its prior collection procedures.

The Law Offices of Stephen Moskowitz, LLP’s tax attorneys, and tax professionals work with auditors and other tax officials routinely; we know how to work within the federal and state tax systems. If you have or anticipate a tax debt, do not wait until the government seizes your assets or wages or demands that your customers pay them instead of you. Call us at (415) 394-7200 for a privileged consultation.