IRS offers open house for those facing tax lien

IRS bricks

The IRS now offers a way to get out from under tax liens. Image: saturnism/Flickr/CC BY-SA

Many Americans are bogged down with liens from past due taxes. New collection policies give delinquent taxpayers a way to get out from under their liens. The IRS will be holding open houses around the country Saturday to answer questions and help those with tax lien issues.

A tax lien can be devastating

When the IRS places a lien on an individual for back taxes owed, it can be devastating.  The IRS has the legal right to freeze assets and to make claims against them. Payments made to the taxpayer can be rerouted directly to the IRS. Furthermore, a tax lien lowers an individual’s credit rating by 100 points.

New collection practices

Under the new lien filing and lien withdrawal procedure adopted in February, liens are withdrawn when the taxpayer agrees to a direct debit installment plan. Under the plan, payments are taken directly out of a taxpayer’s bank account in regularly scheduled, agreed upon increments.

Open houses scheduled

Saturday, the IRS will hold 74 open houses from 9a.m. to 2 p.m. in Taxpayer Assistance Centers located in 34 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. The special event is meant for people who wish to get out from under their tax lien by taking advantage of the new procedure. Tax specialists will also help with other tax issues and offer the same services they normally do on business days. Some of those services include help with letters, arranging account payments, requests for transcripts and tax returns or answering questions about tax law.

The IRS occasionally offers special open house events to deal with specific issues and to provide an opportunity for walk-in assistance to those who cannot attend during regular business hours. At its last two open houses, the IRS assisted more than 16,000 individuals.

‘One-on-one assistance’

“Sometimes taxpayers need one-on-one assistance with their tax issues,” Doug Shulman, commissioner of the IRS, said on the agency’s website. “Our goal at these open houses is to provide that and help taxpayers move their issues toward resolution.”

Locations for Tax Assistance Centers can be found on the IRS website’s Saturday Service page.

Sources

IRS
Journal of Accountancy
Daily Finance

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