IRS offers new tax relief options to help during pandemic

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 15: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building stands on April 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. April 15 is the deadline in the United States for residents to file their income tax returns. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

The IRS unveiled new debt relief options on Monday for taxpayers still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the new system, taxpayers who still owe money to the government will receive expanded choices for making payments and alternatives to resolve the balances owed.

Taxpayers who qualify for a short-term payment plan option may now receive up to 180 days to pay back the money, instead of the usual 120 days.

"The IRS understands that many taxpayers face challenges, and we're working hard to help people facing issues paying their tax bills," IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement.The federal agency is also automatically adding certain new tax balances to existing installment agreements for individual taxpayers instead of defaulting the agreement, which "can complicate matters for those trying to pay their taxes," the news release said.

On top of that, certain qualified individual taxpayers who owe less than $250,000 can set up installment agreements without providing a financial statement or substantiation if their monthly payment proposal is sufficient.

Finally, the IRS will allow qualified taxpayers with existing direct debit installment agreements in place to use the online payment agreement system to propose lower monthly payment amounts and change their payment due dates.

"We want people to know our IRS employees are committed to continue helping taxpayers wherever possible, including offering many options for those struggling to pay their tax bills," said Darren Guillot, deputy commissioner for the IRS's Small Business and Self-Employed Division.