For some of us, getting a financial fresh start might start with paying back taxes. More than 1 million taxpayers had federal tax liens filed against them in 2010, a 60% increase from 2007. On Saturday, the IRS will host open houses at 74 Taxpayer Assistance Centers around the country to provide assistance with getting liens withdrawn and answer questions about ongoing issues.
When the IRS files a lien, it has the right to make a legal claim against a taxpayer's property for the amount of an unpaid tax debt. Additionally, the lien allows the agency to freeze all bank accounts and redirect payments made to the taxpayer or business to the IRS until the debt is paid in full. Credit reports also take a major hit when the government agency files a lien, knocking 100 points off an individual's credit rating.
Under changes made to collection policy this spring, liens are withdrawn when a taxpayer enters into a direct debit installment agreement.
"Sometimes taxpayers need one-on-one assistance with their tax issues," IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said in a statement. "Our goal at these open houses is to provide that and help taxpayers move their issues toward resolution."
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