COVID-19 Federal Tax Updates as of 3.27.2020

In a March 25th statement, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig unveiled the IRS’ “People First Initiative,” through which the IRS will pursue “unprecedented actions to ease the burden on people facing tax issues.”

Highlights of the key actions in the IRS People First Initiative include:

Existing Installment Agreements. Payments due between April 1 and July 15, 2020 are suspended. Taxpayers may suspend automatic withdrawals during this period without risk of defaulting on their Installment Agreements. Interest will continue to accrue on any unpaid balances.

Offers in Compromise (OIC). Taxpayers who have an OIC in process but have been asked to provide further information will now have until July 15 to respond. The IRS will not close any pending OIC request before July 15, 2020, without the taxpayer’s consent.

Taxpayers with accepted OICs may suspend all payments until July 15, 2020, although interest will continue to accrue on any unpaid balances. If a taxpayer is delinquent in filing their tax return for 2018, the IRS will not default the OIC. However, the taxpayer must file their 2018 and 2019 tax return by July 15, 2020.

Field Collection Activities. Liens and levies initiated by field revenue officers are suspended.

Field, Office and Correspondence Audits. The IRS will generally not start new field, office and correspondence examinations. Though, the IRS may start new examinations where deemed necessary to protect the government’s interests.

The IRS promises further guidance regarding implementation of these measures. Stay tuned for further updates.


About the Author: Harry S. Miller­
Harry Miller is Chair of Burns & Levinson’s Tax and Tax Controversy & Litigation groups. He focuses his practice on tax matters, including corporate and partnership tax matters, mergers and acquisitions, international taxation, nonprofit organizations, and estate planning. He can be reached at hmiller@burnslev.com or 617.345.3236

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