Last week, the IRS announced the People First Initiative, providing taxpayers with relief from several issues, such as postponing compliance deadlines and easing payment guidelines. The People First Initiative has an anticipated start date of April 1, 2020 and is scheduled to run through July 15, 2020. Some pivotal aspects of the People First Initiative are summarized below.
If you are a taxpayer with payments due under an existing Installment Agreement between April 1 and July 15, 2020, those payments are suspended. The IRS will also not default those Installment Agreements during that period. However, interest will continue to accrue on unpaid balances.
Offers in Compromise (“OIC”)
Taxpayers now have until July 15, 2020 to respond to IRS requests for additional information related to a pending OIC. The IRS will also not close any pending OIC requests before that date. Moreover, taxpayers now have the option to suspend all payments on accepted OICs until July 15 (interest will accrue on unpaid balances). The IRS will also not default an OIC for taxpayers delinquent in filing their 2018 tax return. Nevertheless, taxpayers should file 2018 and 2019 tax returns before July 15, 2020.
Liens and Levies
Liens and levies initiated by field revenue officers will be suspended during the April 1 to July 15, 2020 period. Likewise, new automatic, systemic liens and levies will also be suspended.
Audits/Examinations and Appeals
During the April 1 to July 15, 2020 period, the IRS will generally not start new field, office and correspondence examinations. For current examinations, in-person meetings will be suspended and remote exams will be used where possible. IRS Appeals will continue to work cases, suspending in-person conferences and using remote conferencing where possible.
While the IRS is suspending many deadlines, taxpayers are encouraged to contact their tax professionals promptly to stay abreast of these developments. For instance, taxpayers must respond to the IRS by July 15, 2020 to verify that they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit or to verify their income. Be advised, that the IRS will continue to take action necessary to protect all applicable statutes of limitations. Additionally, high-income individuals who have not filed their tax returns for years prior to 2019 will continue to be pursued. These individuals should consult with their tax professionals to jumpstart their tax compliance.
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This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.
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