IRS Fresh Start Program

IRS Fresh Start Program

Founder and President

Michael Raanan, MBA, EA
Enrolled Agent, Licensed directly by the IRS to represent taxpayers before all IRS offices including Collection, Audit, and Appeals.
Former IRS Agent
Learn more about Michael.

What is the IRS Fresh Start program?

The new IRS Fresh Start initiative makes it easier for individual and business taxpayers to pay back taxes, avoid IRS tax liens, and get tax relief from the IRS. See below for what you need to know about how to qualify for the IRS Fresh Start tax relief program. Don’t have time to read? Contact us today for immediate back tax relief from the IRS and State taxing authorities.

IRS Tax Liens and the Fresh Start Program

Increase in the Notice of Federal Tax Lien Filing Threshold

One of the biggest improvements in the IRS Fresh Start program is the increase in the IRS Notice of Federal Tax Lien filing threshold. The IRS has increased the minimum liability for filing a tax lien from $5,000 to $10,000. IRS tax liens may still be filed on back taxes below $10,000 when needed, however this change will help protect tens of thousands of taxpayers every year. Since the Fresh Start Tax Lien change is not retroactive, the IRS cannot automatically withdraw a lien that was previously filed based on the old threshold amount.

Requesting a Lien Withdrawal After the Lien Has Been Released

As part of the Fresh Start initiative, the IRS may now issue a “withdrawal” of a tax lien that was previously filed after the lien has been “released”. In general, a lien release occurs after an IRS tax balance is reduced to zero. Although released, the lien still remains on your credit report and other records for approximately seven years. A lien withdrawal will help permanently remove the lien from your records and assist you in repairing your credit score and obtaining future loans. Lien withdrawal requests are formally made to the IRS and must be done in accordance with IRS rules, policies and procedures.

Tax Lien Withdrawal After Entering Into a Direct Debit Installment Agreement

If you meet certain IRS requirements for the Fresh Start program, you may qualify to have your IRS tax lien withdrawn after entering into a Direct Debit payment plan. Both individual and business taxpayers may apply for a withdrawal if their tax debt is $25,000 or less. The IRS debt must be paid off within 60 (5 years) months or before the Collection Statute Expiration Date (CSED) expires, whichever comes first. Taxpayers should note that the IRS reserves the right to file a new tax lien and resume collection efforts if a default occurs on the Direct Debit payment plan after the lien is withdrawn.

Click Here to View our Fresh Start Video

See What You Should Know About IRS Tax Liens

How to Get an IRS
Fresh Start!

IRS Installment Agreements and the Fresh Start Program

Streamlined Payment Plans

The IRS Fresh Start program has also made it easier for taxpayers to qualify for an IRS streamlined installment agreement. As a result of the program, the dollar criteria for streamlined payment plans has been raised from $25,000 to $50,000 and the maximum payoff  term has been raised from 60 months (5 years) to 72 months (6 years).

Under the IRS streamlined payment plan, debts must be paid within the 72 month payment period or prior to the Collection Statute Expiration Date (CSED), whichever is earlier. As with regular installment agreements, Fresh Start payment plans require a taxpayer to be in current compliance with filing, tax withholding, and/or estimated tax payments.

In-Business Trust Fund Express Installment Agreements

New provisions of the IRS Fresh Start program allow for small businesses who are currently operating and have IRS back taxes to qualify for an In-Business Trust Fund Express Installment Agreement (IBTF-Express IA). For business taxpayers that owe $25,000 or less at the time an agreement is established, the IRS generally will not require a review of financial statements or proof of expenses. The IRS tax debt must be fully paid within 24 months or prior to the Collection Statute Expiration Date (CSED), whichever comes first.

Click Here to View the Fresh Start Video

See What You Should Know About Installment Agreements

IRS Offer-in-Compromise and the Fresh Start Program

The IRS Fresh Start Tax Settlement program has made it easier for taxpayers to qualify for an offer-in-compromise and has added more flexibility to the way the agency calculates a taxpayer’s ability-to-pay when evaluating the IRS settlement application. A Fresh Start debt settlement allows you to settle your IRS back taxes for less than the full amount you owe.

Here’s what you need to know about the Fresh Start offer-in-compromise program:

  • To qualify for an IRS tax settlement, the agency will consider your income, expenses, assets, and ability to pay.
  • You must be current with all tax return filings and this year’s tax withholding.
  • You must not be in an open bankruptcy proceeding.
  • Your “offer” amount can be paid one of two ways:

1) Lump Sum Cash Payment – Your first payment must include 20 percent of the total offer amount with your application. If your offer is accepted, the remaining balance is paid in five or fewer payments.

2) Period Payment –  Your first monthly payment is submitted with your offer application and you must continue to pay the IRS every month while you offer package is being evaluated. If your offer is accepted, you must pay the remaining balance within 24 months.

  • In the event a tax settlement offer is rejected, any initial and subsequent payments made while the offer was being considered are applied to your back taxes.
  • The IRS charges a fee of $186 to process your offer-in-compromise application.

The Fresh Start Offer-in-Compromise program is not for everyone. If you owe back taxes to the IRS and are considering a tax settlement, be sure to contact us for a CONFIDENTIAL review of your tax situation.

Click Here to View the Fresh Start Video

See What You Should Know About Tax Settlements

  To see if you qualify for the IRS Fresh Start Program contact us today for a CONFIDENTIAL consultation with our licensed Enrolled Agents and former IRS Agents. We look forward to serving you.


Very good experience and glad I made the decision to use this company. Michael was professional and courteous in all of my dealings with him. My tax dilemma was quickly resolved and Michael even waived much of his normal fee. Where else have you heard of a business doing that? Without question, I would recommend Landmark Tax Group for anyone seeking a fair resolution for a tax problem.

Great service! Michael really knows his stuff and goes above and beyond. They delivered more than they promised and helped me get an AWESOME resolution to my case.  I highly recommend them.

I worked with Landmark Tax Group to help sort through my LLC, 501c(3) and personal finance questions. They were prompt, friendly and extremely knowledgeable. This was the best experience I’ve had with a tax company. I would HIGHLY recommend them!

Great service!!! Very diligent and most importantly high integrity. One of those rare occasions when someone is looking out for your best interest.

Michael was fantastic! He understood my case very quickly, got right to work and was super prompt with communications. His professionalism and his friendly demeanor immediately put me at ease. I whole heartedly recommend contacting them if you’re in need of advice and assistance.

I received great advice in how to deal with the FTB, i don’t review often, but when someone is honest and legitimate, they do deserve a review.  My questions were answered, and if i didn’t quite understand, Micheal was more than willing to give me follow-up answers to better help me.  I highly recommend Landmark Tax Group, just for the mere fact that they treat you as a human being, Not a cash cow.

I had some returns from previous years to complete after receiving a hefty bill from the California Franchise Tax Board.  Michael was prompt in answering my questions and very helpful and reassuring.  We had several back and forth communications and this was all done for free since they do not prepare tax returns.  He gave me some contacts and advice and now I’m on my way to getting my situation resolved.  I’m very thankful for his advice and guidance.

While Michael’s scope of practice meant that we ultimately could not work directly to resolve the issue I was having, he was very prompt, professional, generous and kind in taking time out of his schedule to consult with me, refer me to his network of colleagues- not just once, but a second time even months after. Some professionals are just after services and compensations but Michael strikes me as someone who genuinely cares about your situation and wants to see to it that it gets resolved. These other reviews speak to that as well. You never want to be in a situation where you need to be looking up tax help, but God forbid you ever are, Michael is the person you want in your corner!

Michael and Landmark Tax Group were simply awesome. I like so many others had a year’s old tax issue arise with California FTB. I no longer live there which compounded the stress of the situation. The state had seized monies and filed a lien. After a call to an online tax relief place and some sketchy phone calls I was so happy to find Michael and immediately felt in good hands… at a time of considerable panic.
Fast forward to today and with his help I am totally debt free. He saved me $23,000
I highly recommend Michael and Landmark Tax Group

Michael Raanan is an angel! Michael went above and beyond for me. He was very knowledgeable, professional and very thorough! He is easy to talk to and amazing at what he does. I have a feeling that everyone at landmark tax group shares this way of professionalism! I highly recommend coming here for any and all of your tax help. They will help you and you will be more than pleased with them. 🙂

After calling the other highly advertised tax assistant agency’s and being disappointed with how they responded to my tax matter, I feel fortunate to have found out about the Landmark Tax Group. Michael was very understanding of my situation, and I felt very comfortable dealing with him. He was very knowledgeable and professional in handling our tax issue in a timely manner. I would highly recommend The Landmark Tax Group to anyone who needs assistance in dealing with the IRS.

Wow, just wow. I called Michael today to ask about some major tax issues I had with a defunct corporation I’d started years ago. Michael talked to me for about half an hour, walking me through options and generally helping me understand my options.

Because of him, I’m going to rest nicely tonight for the first time in weeks. It was great to hear that he used to work in IRS collections for 8 years too… which made me feel a lot more secure in his answer.

In all, I’m completely stunned by the level of service he gave to a random stranger who called in and wasn’t going to turn into any revenue for him. I have to imagine that his level of service for actual customers is unreal.

Fast, dependable, reliable, full transparency.  Michael Raanan of Landmark Tax Group allayed my fears spending the rest of my senior years paying my tax debt.  As a result of his extensive knowledge of the tax code, the right questions to ask, and his dedication to my case, I had information, resolution and a plan of action within 24 hours, start to finish.  Amazing!  I highly recommend Landmark Tax Group!

We were very pleased with the expert assistance we received from Michael Raanan at Landmark Tax Group.  In a matter of months we had a resolution to our IRS tax issue.  He was very knowledgeable, professional, explained things in easy to understand terminology & was very easy to discuss our tax issues with.  We called around to other tax groups & just felt the most comfortable speaking & working with Michael.  We are happy to recommend him & his firm.

Great place for tax [relief] advice. Even if they don’t see a need for you to use and pay for their service, they’ll still give you excellent advice and direction at no cost. They are worth a call.

Michael Raanan represents the highest level of professionalism, integrity, decency, and true concern for his clients. His advice every step of the way was right on target.  The end result was a savings of $13,000 on my taxes.

I have already referred him to the other members of my financial team and have complete confidence in referring any clients to him. He is a shining star in his field.

Oh, did I mention how reasonable his fees are? Exceptional considering the amount of attention he provides.

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