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Published:   |   Last Updated: February 8, 2024

Getting a Fresh Start

Every year, the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) helps thousands of people with tax problems. This story is only one of many examples of how TAS helps resolve taxpayer’s tax issues. All personal details are removed to protect the taxpayer’s privacy.



The taxpayer came to TAS after the IRS wouldn’t accept his proposed payment amount for an installment agreement on a balance due. TAS reviewed the taxpayer’s financial situation and confirmed that his proposal fit the streamlined installment agreement criteria. The revenue officer continued to insist the taxpayer could pay more, by liquidating assets if necessary. The revenue officer also suggested the taxpayer make small payments for a year followed by a balloon payment. TAS continued to advocate for the streamlined agreement as provided for in the “Fresh Start” initiative created to assist struggling taxpayers. Just as TAS was about to elevate the issue, the revenue officer conceded that the streamlined installment agreement was acceptable. The payment agreement allowed the taxpayer to address other financial obstacles while beginning to pay his IRS debt.

More information if you have concerns about paying your taxes or questions about installment agreements.


If you need information on a specific tax topic, visit the TAS Get Help resource. It offers a step-by step guide on what you can do to settle some IRS issues on your own, what your taxpayer rights are and other options available to help you get resolution. Most issues can be resolved directly by working with the IRS. However, if you have tried, but are still unable to resolve an IRS issue, learn more about whether TAS can help you: TAS eligibility.

When working with the Taxpayer Advocate Service, each individual or business taxpayer is assigned to an advocate who listens to the problem and helps the taxpayer understand what needs to be done to resolve their tax issue. TAS advocates will do everything they can to help taxpayers and work with them every step of the way. Occasionally we feature stories of taxpayers and advocates who work together to resolve complex tax issues. Read more TAS success stories.