People First Initiative FAQs: Balance Due and Payment Options

These FAQs are not included in the Internal Revenue Bulletin, and therefore may not be relied upon as legal authority. This means that the information cannot be used to support a legal argument in a court case.

Q. Will taxpayers be forgiven their tax debt? (updated July 9, 2020)

A. The IRS is not forgiving tax debts and balances will continue to accrue penalties and interest. The People First Initiative did include relief on a variety of issues ranging from easing payment guidelines to postponing compliance actions.

Q. If I owe tax, or have a payment agreement with the IRS, or owe other federal or state debts, will my Economic Impact Payment be reduced as an offset? (updated June 4, 2020)

A. No, with one exception. The Economic Impact Payment may have been offset only by past-due child support. The Bureau of the Fiscal Service will send you a notice if an offset occurs.

If you are married filing jointly and you filed an injured spouse claim with your 2019 tax return (or 2018 tax return if you haven't filed your 2019 tax return), half of the total Payment will be sent to each spouse and your spouse's Payment will be offset only for past-due child support. There is no need to file another injured spouse claim for the Payment.

The IRS is aware that in some instances a portion of the payment sent to a spouse who filed an injured spouse claim with his or her 2019 tax return (or 2018 tax return if no 2019 tax return has been filed) has been offset by the non-injured spouse's past-due child support. The IRS is working with the Bureau of Fiscal Service and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child Support Enforcement, to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. If you filed an injured spouse claim with your return and are impacted by this issue, you do not need to take any action. The injured spouse will receive their unpaid half of the total payment when the issue is resolved. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Q. Where can I find current information online about what I owe?

A. Most individual taxpayers can view Tax Account information securely online, including information about current balances, payment history, and key information about the current tax year return. Taxpayers can also select electronic payment options as well as request tax transcripts through this portal.

Q. What options do I have to make one-time or recurring payments without contacting the IRS?

A. Taxpayers have options through to make one time or recurring payments without having to contact the IRS.


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