“Ask Your Attorney” Column

About How To Get A “Fresh Start” On Taxes

Dear Counselor: I need a break. I’ve been unemployed, have had a lot of bills, and I owe taxes to the IRS. Every time the phone rings, I’m afraid to answer for fear it’s the “tax man” ready to take me away. What can I do?

Dear Client: You are in luck. The IRS has announced it is expanding its “fresh start” initiative for struggling taxpayers. The updated program provides relief to the unemployed, and more taxpayers will be able to use streamlined installment agreements to catch up on back taxes. Qualified taxpayers will be able to stretch out payments over six years. Under the new provisions, taxpayers who have been unemployed for 30 days or longer can avoid failure-to-pay penalties. There are rules to the program, and forms to fill out. The IRS website features online resources that can help you better understand the program and the forms you will need to complete. For more help, just give me a call. The best thing to do is face the problem and deal with it before it gets any bigger. Your life will indeed have a “fresh start”!

John L. Maier, Jr.

Sweet & Maier, S.C., Attorneys
114 N. Church St.
Elkhorn, WI 53121