Tax debt can be a significant burden, causing stress and financial strain for individuals and businesses alike. Fortunately, there are options for tax relief that can provide much-needed assistance in resolving tax liabilities. In this blog post, we will explore the qualifications for tax relief, how to get tax debt forgiven, eligibility for the IRS Fresh Start program, the average settlement amounts, and potential disqualifiers from an IRS payment plan. Let’s delve into the world of tax relief and discover the crucial factors that can lead to financial freedom.

Who Qualifies for Tax Forgiveness?

Tax forgiveness, also known as tax debt forgiveness or tax debt relief, is a provision that allows eligible taxpayers to have a portion of their tax debt forgiven or reduced. To qualify for tax forgiveness, individuals must demonstrate “reasonable cause” for their inability to pay the full tax debt. Common reasonable causes include severe financial hardship, natural disasters, or unexpected life events that hindered their ability to meet tax obligations. The IRS has the final say on whether you qualify for debt forgiveness. In general, the agency looks for taxpayers who have: A total debt balance of $50,000 or below and a total income below $100,000 ($200,000 for married couples).

How Do I Get My Tax Debt Forgiven?

To get your tax debt forgiven, you must apply for an IRS program known as an Offer in Compromise (OIC). This program allows taxpayers to settle their tax debt for less than the total amount owed. However, qualifying for an OIC can be challenging, and the IRS carefully assesses each application based on specific criteria, including the taxpayer’s income, assets, and overall financial situation. Seeking guidance from a tax professional can increase your chances of a successful OIC application.

Do I Qualify for IRS Fresh Start?

The IRS Fresh Start program is designed to help taxpayers with tax debt through various initiatives, such as streamlined installment agreements and penalty relief. To qualify for the Fresh Start program, you first have to owe the IRS at least $10,000 in back taxes, then you have to prove to the IRS that you don’t have the means to pay back the money in a reasonable amount of time. This program provides a more accessible path to resolving tax issues for those who meet the eligibility requirements.

How Much Will the IRS Usually Settle For?

The settlement amount in an Offer in Compromise varies depending on the individual’s financial circumstances. In some cases, taxpayers may be able to settle their tax debt for pennies on the dollar, while others may need to offer a more substantial amount. The IRS considers factors such as the taxpayer’s ability to pay, income, expenses, and asset equity when determining the settlement amount.

What Disqualifies You from an IRS Payment Plan?

While IRS payment plans, known as installment agreements, are a popular option for resolving tax debt, certain factors may disqualify taxpayers from obtaining one. Disqualifiers can include not being up-to-date on tax filings, having a significant tax debt amount, or demonstrating the ability to pay the debt in full within a specified timeframe. It’s essential to understand the IRS’s installment agreement requirements and address any potential disqualifiers before applying for a payment plan.


Tax relief offers a lifeline for those burdened with tax debt, providing opportunities to have a portion of their tax liabilities forgiven or reduced. Understanding the qualifications for tax relief, the process of getting tax debt forgiven, eligibility for the IRS Fresh Start program, settlement amounts, and potential disqualifiers from an IRS payment plan are essential steps toward achieving financial relief. If you are struggling with tax debt, seeking guidance from a tax professional can be instrumental in navigating the complexities of tax relief programs and finding the best solution for your unique situation. With the right approach and determination, you can pave the way toward financial freedom and a brighter future.

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