Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A "Kinder, Gentler" IRS?--At least during the recession?

The Internal Revenue Service has announced a number of programs designed to make tax preparation and even payment of taxes (at least in some cases) less painful during the recession. IRS employees have been granted greater latitude to suspend collection activities when the taxpayer is in financial distress, such as loss of job or medical crisis. Along the same line, negotiated installment tax payments will not automatically be cancelled if a previously complaint taxpayer misses a payment because of a financial crisis and releases of tax levies for financial hardship will be easier to obtain. Additionally, the website now offers a page addressing payment options in a frequently answered question (FAQ) format and has expanded the free file program (fully available to AGI < $56K) to allow a self-serve "fillable forms" option to allow taxpayers of almost all income levels to effectively e-file for free.

I commend the IRS for trying to assist taxpayers in this recession and hope that these programs will not be abused by those who are undeserving.

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