IRS Update on Operating Status
Due to COVID-19
The IRS recently announced an update regarding the operating status of the various operating units. The IRS is still operating at a reduced staffing level and, therefore, experiencing some backlogs. If a taxpayer has received a late payment penalty notice, the IRS has indicated that they need not respond to this notice as long as they have timely mailed their tax payment check by July 15, 2020. The IRS has reassured taxpayers that once it processes the payment, the payment will be posted as of the date that the IRS received the payment and not the date that the IRS processed the payment. This guidance is somewhat troubling as it states the payment will be posted as of the date the IRS received the payment and not the date that the payment was mailed. IRC Section 7502 states that the date on which a payment is postmarked shall be deemed the date of payment. If a taxpayer receives a late payment penalty notice, we recommend contacting your ACT client service representative to discuss the best course of action.
The announcement also reminds taxpayers to use electronic options whenever possible in order to support social distancing and expedite the processing of tax returns, payments, and refunds, including making electronic payments via Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS).
Other items to note include an update that the backlog for Centralized Authorization File (CAF) third party authorization requests is currently at 15 days, rather than the target of 5 days, and that taxpayer assistance centers have reopened, but an appointment is required for in-person assistance.