March 26th, 2020

IRS Provides Further Relief to Delinquent Taxpayers During COVID-19 Crisis – People First Initiative

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Author: Jeremy M. Vaida

1040 form

UPDATE: In light of continued economic hardship facing Americans, the IRS has extended its People’s First Initiative, effectively granting continued tax collection relief beyond the previously identified July 15th deadline.

Effective March 25, 2020, the IRS instituted a host of sweeping changes aimed at reducing taxpayers’ compliance burden during the COVID-19 outbreak.  Such changes fall into two broad categories: changes to existing agreements with the IRS and a reduction in overall enforcement.  In light of such changes, taxpayers who are currently owe tax, or expect to owe tax in the near future, should immediately contact Stein Sperling’s tax professionals at (301) 340-2020 to determine how best to take advantage of these limited-time programs.

  • Changes to Existing Agreements
    • Existing Installment Agreements – Taxpayers who are unable to comply with the terms of their current installment agreement may suspend payment until July 15, 2020.
    • Current Offers in Compromise Applications – Taxpayers may suspend periodic payments required under a current application for an Offer in Compromise and may delay the provision of requested information until July 15th. Furthermore, Offers will not be returned as a result of taxpayers’ failure to file tax year 2018 tax returns.
  • Reduction in Enforcement
    • Suspension of Liens and Levies – The IRS will not institute new liens or levies, except in cases of high-income non-filers.
    • Passport Revocations – The IRS will stop issuing notifications to the State Department concerning seriously delinquent taxpayers. As a result, taxpayers should not get new notices which could prevent them from renewing their passports as a result of their tax debts.
    • Private Debt Collectors – Cases will not be forwarded to private debt collectors during this period.
    • Reduction in Audits – In general, the IRS will not initiate new audit examinations during this period.

More on issues affecting businesses and individuals in our COVID-19 Resource Center.