IRS Puts Taxpayers First in New COVID-19 Initiative

March 25, 2020

It takes all kinds to get through these unprecedented times together and the IRS decided they want to help.  The new “People First Initiative” has been announced as a series of steps to assist taxpayers dealing with the COVID-19 disruption of life and business.

Highlights of the plan include: 

  • Suspended tax payments under an existing installment agreement due between April 1 and July 15, 2020.  Deferred payments will not cause default but interest will continue to accrue.
  • Extended the time for taxpayers to provide requested information to support a pending Offer in Compromise (OIC) to July 15th, 2020
  • Allowing taxpayers the option to defer payments on accepted OICs until July 15th, 2020 with interest continuing to accrue
  • Not considering default on an OIC for taxpayers who have not filed a 2018 return before July 15th, 2020
  • Suspending liens and levies initiated by field revenue officers, including seizures of personal residence, and new automatic liens and levies generated by systems
  • Suspending denial of receiving or renewing passports for seriously delinquent taxpayers
  • Suspending the forwarding of new delinquent accounts to private collection agencies
  • Deferring the start of any new field, office and correspondence examinations with the exception of refund claims and examinations deemed necessary to protect the government’s interest in applicable statute of limitations
  • Suspending in-person current examination meetings, but continuing work remotely where possible and make exceptions for unique situations
  • Extending the due date to verify earned income tax credit qualification to July 15th, 2020
  • Continuing to work appeals cases via telephone or videoconference

IRS Commissioner Rettig desires this plan to ease taxpayers minds and says,

During this difficult time, we want people working together, focused on their well-being, helping each other and others less fortunate.
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