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IRS offers programs to help struggling taxpayers

BIRMINGHAM — The new year has arrived and that signals the start of the tax-filing season.

The Internal Revenue Service Tuesday announced new steps to help financially strapped taxpayers meet their tax obligations.

The agency is offering to waive late penalties, negotiate new payment plans and postpone asset seizures for delinquent taxpayers.

Taxpayers can begin filing tax returns electronically on Jan. 16.

To help explain the leniency program, the IRS has posted answers to common taxpayer questions on its Web site, www.irs.gov.