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The IRS Modifies Its Enforcements Actions Amid the COVID-19 Crisis

As the U.S. grapples to cope with the challenges the coronavirus presents, the IRS has elected to pump the brakes on its enforcement activities.

In addition to extending tax deadlines, the IRS has elected to modify some of its current practices between April 1 through July 15, 2020, as set forth in IR-2020-59. It provides, in part, as follows:

Existing Installment Agreements – For taxpayers under an existing Installment Agreement, payments due between April 1 and July 15, 2020, are suspended. Taxpayers who are currently unable to comply with the terms of an Installment Payment Agreement, including a Direct Deposit Installment Agreement, may suspend payments during this period if they prefer. By law, interest will continue to accrue on any unpaid balances.

Field, Office and Correspondence Audits – During this period, the IRS will generally not start new field, office and correspondence examinations. The Service will continue to work refund claims where possible, without in-person contact. However, the IRS may start new examinations where deemed necessary to protect the government’s interest in preserving the applicable statute of limitations.

In-Person Meetings – In-person meetings regarding current field, office and correspondence examinations will be suspended. Even though IRS examiners will not hold in-person meetings, they will continue their examinations remotely, where possible.
Other forms of relief are also provided.

If you have any questions about the IRS COVID-19 tax enforcement modification plan, please contact a member of the Tax Controversy Group or reach out to your Withum advisor.

Tax Controversy

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