To help people facing the challenges of COVID-19 issues, the Internal Revenue Service announced today a sweeping series of steps to assist taxpayers by providing relief on a variety of issues ranging from easing payment guidelines to postponing compliance actions.
- 1 Existing installment agreement payments suspended
- 2 Offers in Compromise (OIC) payments suspended
- 3 Liens and levies suspended
- 4 Passport certifications to the State Department suspended
- 5 New referrals to private debt collection suspended
- 6 New audits are suspended
- 7 Earned income Tax credit and wage verification reviews
Existing installment agreement payments suspended
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.
Furthermore, the IRS will not default any Installment Agreements during this period.
By law, interest will continue to accrue on any unpaid balances.
Offers in Compromise (OIC) payments suspended
The IRS will allow taxpayers until July 15 to provide requested additional information to support a pending OIC.
In addition, the IRS will not close any pending OIC request before July 15, 2020, without the taxpayer’s consent.
Taxpayers have the option of suspending all payments on accepted OICs until July 15, 2020, although by law interest will continue to accrue on any unpaid balances.
The IRS will not default an OIC for those taxpayers who are delinquent in filing their tax return for tax year 2018. However, taxpayers should file any delinquent 2018 return (and their 2019 return) on or before July 15, 2020.
Liens and levies suspended
Liens and levies (including any seizures of a personal residence) initiated by field revenue officers will be suspended during this period.
New automatic, systemic liens and levies will be suspended during this period.
Passport certifications to the State Department suspended
IRS will suspend new certifications to the Department of State for taxpayers who are “seriously delinquent” during this period.
New referrals to private debt collection suspended
New delinquent accounts will not be forwarded by the IRS to private collection agencies to work during this period.
New audits are suspended
The IRS will generally not start new field, office and correspondence examinations.
However, the IRS may start new examinations where deemed necessary to protect the government’s interest in preserving the applicable statute of limitations.
Earned income Tax credit and wage verification reviews
Taxpayers have until July 15, 2020, to respond to the IRS to verify that they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit or to verify their income.
These taxpayers are encouraged to exercise their best efforts to obtain and submit all requested information, and if unable to do so, please reach out to the IRS indicating the reason such information is not available.
Until July 15, 2020, the IRS will not deny these credits for a failure to provide requested information.