The Internal Revenue Service, Thursday, stated that it is decreasing the amount of property liens and making it easier for the small businesses that owe taxes to work out installment agreements.
The IRS has raised the limit on how much back taxes that can be owed before a lien is placed on a property. In the past, the limit was $5,000; the new policy announced Thursday increases the limit to as much as $10,000.
This new policy will allow delinquent taxpayers who meet certain requirements to settle their back taxes for a smaller amount than they actually owe. For others, the policy allows the lien to be removed once a certain number of payments has been made on an installment plan.
For small business owners, the limit for owed taxes was under $10,000. Under the new policy, the limit is now $25,000. Small businesses will also be able to pay over the course of 24 months.
According to IRS commissioner Doug Shulman, the agency believes that the changes should help those who are trying to make good on their taxes.
Nina Olson, a national advocate for taxpayers, doesn’t think the changes are enough. She stated that the IRS still files liens automatically and does not investigate whether the lien will be beneficial. Olson said, “The IRS often files liens against taxpayers who own insignificant or no property interests to which the liens can attach. As a result, the lien filing simply damages the taxpayer’s financial viability and impairs future tax compliance without any corresponding revenue benefit.”
Shulman stated that the amount of liens that are filed this year should be reduced considerably. He said that giving a more precise estimate is impossible at this point because of unknown factors like the economy.