Neal, Lewis Urge IRS to Consider Relief for Taxpayers Receiving Outdated Balance Due Notices

Jun 11, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman John Lewis (D-GA) expressed their concern over the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) decision to begin mailing previously printed balance due notices as their operations ramp back up. These notices were printed prior to IRS offices’ closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and their mailing will result in approximately 1.5 million taxpayers receiving notices with incorrect and conflicting payment due dates.  

“The IRS’s decision is particularly concerning for several reasons,” wrote Chairman Neal and Subcommittee Chairman Lewis. “First, these notices were printed months ago and will not be re-printed before they are mailed.  As a result, they contain dates that are incorrect and payment due dates that already may have passed. The receipt of a notice with incorrect and conflicting dates is likely to cause unnecessary confusion for many taxpayers.”

The letter also expressed concerns over the new payment due dates in mid-July. The lawmakers added that “the new due dates coincide with the extended deadline for filing 2019 income tax returns. This is likely to cause confusion and, in some cases, economic hardship for taxpayers trying to plan expenses and payments during the economic downturn. Many taxpayers are newly unemployed or facing increased financial insecurity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The IRS should strive to minimize the economic burden on these individuals, but we worry that this decision risks doing just the opposite.” 

Neal and Lewis requested the IRS consider waiving “certain penalties and grant relief to those who find themselves unprepared for these balance due notices. Further, we expect that the IRS will take whatever actions are necessary to ensure no taxpayers are penalized for the time during which their correspondence sat unopened and unprocessed due to the closure of IRS operations.”

The full text of the letter is available HERE.