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IRS Announces Additional Relief for Taxpayers During the COVID-19 Crisis

March 25, 2020

Today the IRS released its “People First Initiative,” which is designed to provide relief to taxpayers during the fight against COVID-19. The relief includes postponing certain payments related to installment agreements and offers in compromise. It also includes limiting certain enforcement actions. IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig noted that the IRS is “temporarily adjusting [its] processes to help people and businesses during these uncertain times.” To determine whether this relief applies to your specific situation, review the IRS guidance here.

This new initiative adds to other recently released updates from the IRS on its efforts to aid taxpayers in response to COVID-19. The IRS released information related to its continuing operations and tips for taxpayers and tax professionals on how best to interact with the agency during the crisis. That information can be found here. Additionally, the IRS developed a Frequently Asked Questions page aimed at addressing taxpayer questions regarding changes to the tax filing and tax payment deadlines. That information can be found here.

Additional tips and resources for taxpayers:

  • Taxpayers should still file their taxes as soon as possible if they expect to receive a refund. Although the tax filing deadline has been extended to July 15, the sooner you file your taxes, the sooner you can receive your refund during as we face this COVID-19 challenge together.
  • Taxpayers are encouraged to file their taxes electronically and use direct deposit if possible. Under current circumstances, this is the fastest way for taxpayers to receive refunds.
  • The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) remains operational at the local level and taxpayers in need of assistance should visit the TAS website here to locate the appropriate local office phone number. Note that TAS has suspended walk-in services and their toll-free centralized number until further notice. Contacting a local office is the most effective way to get assistance at this time.
  • The IRS is continuing to provide new information for taxpayers related to regulatory changes and agency guidance at its dedicated coronavirus website here.