Washington, D.C. - The Internal Revenue Service said that it is making major changes to its tax lien process in an effort to help struggling taxpayers get a fresh start with their tax liabilities.

Changes in the IRS's lien-filing practices include significantly increasing the dollar threshold when liens are generally issued, resulting in fewer tax liens. The IRS said that the changes would also make it easier for taxpayers to obtain lien withdrawals after paying a tax bill. The IRS said that it would withdraw liens in most cases where a taxpayer enters into a direct-debit installment agreement. Other changes involve offering easier access to installment agreements for more struggling small businesses, and expanding the streamlined offer-in-compromise program. (For more, see Tax Strategy, page 15.)



Washington, D.C. - The IRS has given tax-exempt organizations that operate one or more hospital facilities three months' extra time to file their 2010 Form 990, and said that they should not actually file the form until July 1, 2011.

In order to implement changes to IRS forms and systems that are required to reflect additional requirements for charitable hospitals enacted by Section 9007 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, the IRS said that it is delaying the start of the 2010 filing season for certain hospital organizations.

Announcement 2011-20 grants hospital organizations with return due dates prior to Aug. 15, 2011, automatic three-month filing extensions. The IRS said that no late-filing penalties will apply to the affected organizations if they file by their extended due dates. The announcement grants tax-exempt organizations that operate one or more hospital facilities (hospital organizations), and that would otherwise be required to file Form 990, "Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax, including Schedule H, Hospitals," for 2010 before Aug. 15, 2011, an automatic three-month extension of time to file the Form 990 for 2010.

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