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SS+D COVID-19 Response Team: The IRS People First Initiative March 30, 2020

March 31, 2020 | Sebaly Shillito + Dyer

The IRS has taken some steps to help people struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new IRS People First Initiative is designed to provide immediate relief to people facing uncertainty over taxes. The key components of the IRS People First Initiative include:

  1. Existing Installment Agreements. If you have an existing installment agreement with the IRS, payments due between April 1 and July 15, 2020, are suspended However, if you have a direct debit installment agreement, you need to contact the IRS if you wish to suspend those payments. In either case, interest will continue to accrue.
  2. Offers in Compromise (OIC). The IRS is taking steps to help people in various stages of the OIC The IRS is giving people with pending OICs until July 15, 2020, to provide requested additional information. Taxpayers with accepted OICs have the option of suspending all payments under the OIC until July 15, 2020. The IRS has also said that it will not declare a default under an OIC due to a delinquent 2018 tax return until July 15, 2020.
  3. Suspension of Collection Activities. Until July 15, 2020: (a) liens and levies initiated by field officers have been suspended, (b) new automatic liens and levies have also been suspended, and (c) new delinquent accounts will not be forwarded to private debt collection agencies.
  4. Field, Office, and Correspondence Audits. The IRS generally will not start new field, office, and correspondence audits until July 15,
  5. Earned Income Tax Credits. The IRS is extending the time for taxpayers to verify their income until July 15, The IRS will not deny an earned income tax credit for a failure to provide requested information until such time.

If you have specific questions about how the IRS People First Initiative will apply to you, SS+D is here to help.

The SS+D COVID-19 Response Team was formed to provide clients, colleagues, and friends of the Firm updates for the foreseeable future on COVID-19 issues facing businesses, executives, and employees. Please let us know if there are any items/issues you would like for us to track or summarize.

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Sebaly Shillito + Dyer