IRS Re-opens but Expect Delays – Many of IRS operations are just now coming back online since mid-March closures. It is no surprise that this shutdown has resulted in significant delays in processing of items (i.e. payments, amended returns) that were sent in the mail right before and during office closures. While electronic filings continued to be processed and IRS call centers offered limited support, most IRS employees were working remotely leaving mail to stack up. We have learned that many IRS departments are using August 1st as their official restart date. So if something that has a normal processing time of 6-8 weeks was sent in right before or during the shutdown, then it will likely not be processed until 6-8 weeks from August 1st.
Auto-generated IRS Notices Pose a Nuisance for Taxpayers – Despite the office closures and unopened mail stacking up, the IRS automated systems have been hard at work sending notices out to taxpayers. Many of these notices demand payment for taxes that were timely mailed to the Service but remain in the mail backlog. Others may be payments that have cleared the bank but have not been properly applied to the account. If you receive one of these notices, please contact your tax advisor or HSC point of contact to discuss resolution options which may simply require waiting for the IRS to catch up on its backlog.
US Treasury and IRS Announces 13.9 Million Taxpayers will Receive IRS Interest Refunds – This week interest payments averaging $18 per taxpayer will be sent out individual taxpayers who timely filed their 2019 federal income tax return by the July 15th deadline and either received or are due to receive a refund. Most interest payments will be issued separately from tax refunds via direct deposit or paper check depending on how the refund was received. For payment via paper checks a notation “INT Amount” will be included to indicate the reason for the payment.
With extended closures and backlog the IRS is currently faced with many unique challenges as operations begin to resume. HSC will continue to keep you informed of any new developments that may prove helpful as we patiently work with the Service through these unprecedented times.