The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has decided that it may have been a little overzealous in the letter-sending department and is suspending more than a dozen additional letters, including balance due notices and unfiled tax return notices.
The agency is backing off on mailing notices because the COVID-19 pandemic caused it to be backed up with original and amended returns from both individuals and businesses that have yet to be processed. It feels that taking this step can help avoid some confusion for both taxpayers and tax professionals.
“IRS employees are committed to doing everything possible with our limited resources to help people during this period,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.
“We are working hard, long hours pushing creative paths forward in an effort to be part of the solution, rather than the problem. Our employees continue to expend every effort to balance a confluence of multiple, unprecedented demands − including successfully starting the filing season, working our inventory of unprocessed tax returns as well as looking for additional ways to minimize burden for taxpayers, tax professionals and businesses.”
The agency left the door slightly ajar for the automatic notices it is shelving to return. It said once the current backlog is worked through, it will reassess the situation and try to determine if and when those notices should return.
Consumers still need to pay attention to letters
The IRS says it’s possible that some of the letters it’s putting on hold are in the mail already, and those letters still need to be heeded if a taxpayer or tax professional believes a notice is accurate.
In those situations, the agency says the taxpayer or preparer should act to rectify the situation as soon as possible. As an example, the IRS cautions people with a balance due that interest and penalties can continue to accrue.
Consumers can visit the IRS website for payment options.