The Internal Revenue Service has released the 2010 update to its Allowable Living Expense Standards, which it applies to taxpayers who need to delay full payment of delinquent taxes.

The ALE standards are used to reduce subjectivity in determining what a taxpayer may claim as basic living expenses necessary to avoid undue hardship when the taxpayer must delay full payment of a delinquent tax. The standard allowances are intended to provide consistency and fairness in collection determinations by incorporating average expenditures for basic necessities for citizens in similar geographic areas.

The IRS provides national standards for food, clothing and other items, and out-of-pocket health care expenses. Local standards are provided for housing and utilities for different states. For transportation costs, there are national standards for public transportation expenses and car ownership costs, but local standards for automobile operating costs in different parts of the country.

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