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Fresh Start program, part 2: tax liens and direct deposit defaults

IRS in 2009. This program has been beneficial to many taxpayers in resolving tax debt and avoiding federal tax liens.

But as the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) found in a recent report, there are several ways in which the Fresh Start program could be improved. In this part of this post, we will discuss TIGTA’s findings on tax liens.

The IRS Fresh Start program, part 1: how does it affect tax liens?

In 2009, in the midst of the Great Recession, the IRS launched an initiative intended to ease the burdens of financially strapped individuals and businesses burdened by back taxes. It was called “Fresh Start.”

The program sought to help taxpayers find ways to avoid federal tax liens and resolve their tax debt through means such as installment agreements or offers in compromise (OIC). In this two-part post, we will discuss the Fresh Start program, beginning with how it affects tax liens.

Online Filers Should be Wary of Identity Theft

A surge in fraudulent state tax filings in 19 states appears to involve personal information stolen from TurboTax. The FBI is working to determine who used stolen data to obtain bogus refunds from various state agencies and whether federal returns are also involved.

HSBC Again Under Investigation by U.S. Justice Department

In a recently released fourth quarter report, HSBC revealed that it is again being investigated by U.S. authorities, this time for allegedly selling securities that violate U.S. tax law. The new investigation could cause the Justice Department to reconsider a 2012 deferred prosecution agreement with the world's second largest bank.

Indicted Swiss Banker Arrested in Germany

A former Swiss banker who was indicted in the United States three years ago has been arrested in Germany and is expected to be extradited to the United States. Roger Keller, a former client advisor at Wegelin & Co, was indicted in 2012 for helping Americans hide more than $1.2 billion.

IRS 2015 Priorities Include Uncovering Offshore Accounts

The IRS has announced its annual "Dirty Dozen" list of tax scams, which are areas of enforcement that the agency will focus on in 2015. Once again, the list includes undisclosed offshore accounts, which has been a top priority since 2009.