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A Streamlined Installment Agreement (SIA) is a type of payment plan that the Internal Revenue Service offers to individuals who are trying to pay off any tax debt. These agreements are known as “streamlined” because they do not require a financial statement to determine whether you qualify — meaning that the IRS can process the agreement in a more streamlined and efficient manner. Also, with a SIA, the IRS typically will not file a tax lien against the taxpayer.

Streamlined Installment Agreements are part of the IRS’ Fresh Start Program, which was designed to help taxpayers who owe money by making it easier for them to pay back taxes and get out of IRS debt. Initially, SIA was capped at $25,000; if a taxpayer owed more than that, he or she had to submit full financials. Phase two of the Fresh Start Program increased the cap from $25,000 to $50,000 and required taxpayers to enter into direct debit installment agreement. In 2016, the IRS increased the threshold once again; taxpayers who owed between $50,000 and $100,00 could avoid filing their financial information with the IRS if they agreed to pay their tax bill within an 84-month time period. This expanded criteria for Streamlined Installment Agreements was set to run through September 2018; however, the criteria have not yet expired.

To qualify for a Streamlined Installment Agreement, an individual must owe $100,000 or less in assessed balance of taxes, penalties, and interest — or their business owes $25,000 or less in taxes. The taxpayer does not have to submit a financial statement for verification purposes, but they do have to agree to fully pay off the balance within 84 months (seven years) via payroll deduction or direct deposit installments. One of the advantages of a SIA is that the IRS will likely not take any additional actions such as bank levies, wage garnishments, seizure, or Social Security levies. By setting up a SIA, that person will be in good standing with the IRS.

Despite these advantages, taxpayers may find that seven years is not a long enough time to repay their individual or business tax debt in full. If you cannot afford your SIA payments, or if you cannot repay within the 84-month window, please contact Wiggam & Geer by calling (404) 233-9800 or by messaging us through our website. Our experienced tax attorneys can help develop a solution that works for you.