IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman has instructed auditors to go easy on taxpayers seeking an "offer in compromise," a process where taxpayers negotiate for a lower tax bill because of financial hardship or lack of resources.
Shulman said auditors can consider taxpayers' current and future income when determining what is owed. Normally, past incomes are used to determine tax liabilities.
The change is in reaction to many taxpayers being affected by the economic downturn.
Under the new regime, the IRS could accept more offers.