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As if tax season were not already bad enough, this year the stress has been compounded by a slew of incorrect IRS notices going out connected to a backlog of millions of still-unprocessed 2020 returns. Individuals, businesses, and tax professionals all over the US are receiving errant letters stating they owe money or have not filed last year’s taxes. In many cases, neither is true and yet because the letters are automated, they continue to arrive and thus continue to layer on anxiety at a time when many are already at their breaking point.
In response, the IRS has announced that it will suspend eight individual taxpayer notices until the backlog is worked through. These include IRS notice CP59, CP516, and CP518—all related to delinquent returns—as well as IRS notice CP501, CP503, and CP504—all related to having an outstanding balance—among others.
In addition, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig has issued a statement insisting, “IRS employees are committed to doing everything possible with our limited resources to help people during this period.”
That’s a nice sentiment and it’s encouraging to know that the IRS is aware of their error, but it hardly seems fair. After all, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and behind—as so many of us are—you don’t have the option of simply assuring the IRS that you’re “doing everything possible with your limited resources” and will try to resolve the issue soon.
While the IRS has temporarily suspended the automatic issue of scary letters, it has not relieved individuals or businesses of the obligation to address unfiled returns or pay outstanding tax debts. If there is a balance on your taxes (and the letters you may have been receiving were not sent in error), the IRS will continue to accrue interest and levy penalties on that amount.
The only person or organization getting off the hook in this fiasco is the IRS itself.
In response, the best thing you can do is work with a tax professional to ensure all your tax obligations are met. At present, there is no use in contacting the IRS regarding your personal case as all mail is processed on a first-come, first-serve basis and the agency is currently tens of millions of letters deep in unprocessed correspondence.
Those who have sought professional guidance related to securities finance, personal property tax, or any other tax-related matter can breathe easy despite errant behavior by the IRS as they know no mistake has been made and in due time their case will be favorably resolved.
To learn more about how you can gain peace of mind related to your tax obligations, do not hesitate to reach out to the Law Firm of Christopher W. Dumm either by calling 417-623-2062 or using the contact form on our website.
Contact the Estate Planning Attorneys at the Law Firm of Christopher W. Dumm