As the coronavirus pandemic has swiftly spread across the world, it has brought with it large amounts of confusion and uncertainty. Most state governors, including Governor Newsom in California, have issued stay at home orders that mandate that all citizens must stay at home except for essential activities. In response to the nationwide effort to shut down as much as possible, the IRS has shut down almost all of its field offices and has begun conducting business remotely (as much as possible.) This has led to substantial delays in answering queries and processing files. Below, we explain the status of IRS operations at this point and what you should do if you have an unresolved matter with the IRS during the pandemic.
Due to the pandemic, the IRS has been forced to cut back operations to protect its employees from catching the coronavirus. Most facilities have been closed and employees are beginning the transition to telework from their homes, although this remains an ongoing process. Other employees have been furloughed due to budget issues. If an IRS facility is open at all, it is being operated by a skeleton crew of only a small amount of people handling a large amount of cases.
Taxpayers have reported that it is nearly impossible to get through to the IRS on the phone at the moment. You will be placed on hold for many hours and, even then, your call may cut off before you are actually able to speak with someone. If your case involves mailing documents to the IRS, these documents will not be processed in a timely manner as many facilities are closed and not collecting mail.
This all comes at a time when the IRS is busier than ever. First, we are in the midst of tax season as it is. Now, the federal government and many state governments have extended the deadline to file your tax returns for three months. Many taxpayers are confused about whether or not this applies to them. The best thing you can do right now if you have questions for the IRS is to contact a tax professional like the attorneys at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing. We can try to answer your questions and anything we do not know the answer to, we can work to get in touch with our contacts at the IRS to get your issues resolved.
There are more potential IRS issues that could arise or have arisen during the pandemic than we have room to discuss in this article. However, here are a few issues that many taxpayers have been experiencing.
A levy is an amount of money that is taken, usually on a monthly or quarterly basis, from someone’s paycheck or bank account in order to pay back money they owe to the IRS. The IRS has announced that is temporarily suspending some collection of levies, including shutting down some programs like the Federal Payment Levy Program entirely. This is in response to the fact that many people’s income situation is fluid with jobs being lost during the pandemic.
However, not all levies have been suspended and it is unclear if you will still have to make an application regarding your change of income if you are laid off or have some other life change that makes you unable to pay your levies. If this is the case, you should contact a skilled tax professional like those on our team at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing. Our lawyers will work tirelessly to get in contact with your case manager through whatever medium possible. We will work to get you clear information on whether payment of your levies has been stalled or if you need to fill out an application. If you need to apply, we can help shepherd the application through as quickly as possible.
Many audits are correspondence audits, conducted entirely through the mail. The taxpayer is asked to send records and documents to back up the information they listed on their tax returns. There are dates and deadlines by which the documentation must be submitted that are usually enforced quite strictly. There are also requirements for when the IRS must receive a petition challenging the results of an audit.
While some of this can be handled electronically, much of it cannot. Currently, most correspondence auditors are not in the office and have not transitioned to working from home. Mail that is being sent to the office, including important documents related to your business records, is not being received. No clear guidance has been issued on whether or not extensions are being granted for audit reconsiderations or other petitions being filed.
At this uncertain time, they best thing that you can do to protect yourself is to hire a tax professional like the attorneys at the Law Offices of David W. Klasing. Our lawyers can work to get your questions answered and fight to make sure that you are not penalized for any missed deadlines that were not your fault.
The way the IRS typically does business is currently in flux due to the pandemic. However, it is never a good idea to assume that you are off the hook or that your case will be delayed without consulting with a tax professional. At the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing, our experienced tax attorneys can help protect your rights and ensure that you are not penalized because of a situation beyond your control.
Regardless of your particular business needs, the professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing are here for you. We are open for business and our team will help ensure that your business is too. Contact the Law Offices of David W. Klasing today to discuss your business with one of our professionals.
In addition to our main office in Irvine, the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing has unstaffed (conference room only) satellite offices in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Panorama City, Oxnard, San Diego, Bakersfield, San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Carlsbad and Sacramento. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our staff are working from home, but have full virtual meeting capability.
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