Like most people, the team at Boxelder Consulting is still coming to grips with the jolting shift in reality we’ve all experienced in just three or four short weeks. The COVID-19 public health crisis has hit us all hard, and the resulting economic fallout could take months, if not years, to recover from. As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise and the majority of workers continue to stay at home, we wanted to take a moment to walk through how this shutdown has affected tax season.
Over the past few weeks, we have been monitoring how the Internal Revenue Service is reacting by the hour. The vast majority of IRS Collections are processed through call centers – collectively called Automated Collections, or ACS. Currently, most of the Collections systems are down.
While we do not have details, our assessment is that these call centers will need to be retrofitted to comply with COVID-19 restrictions, such as the employees sitting six feet apart. This will certainly take time to implement, and we do not yet have a time table for their return.
Similar to the government shutdown in January of last year, there are some divisions that still remain to process tax returns and refunds. Additionally, Revenue and Appeals Officers are on the job and continue to push cases forward.
Most importantly, under the “People First” initiative announced on March 25, the IRS has suspended all enforced collections, including filing new federal tax liens, attaching bank account levies, and issuing wage garnishments. This hold is in place until July 15th of this year. Tax returns for 2019 have also been extended to this date.
We are advising clients to take advantage of this lull in Collections activity and move forward with the filing of any missing or past due tax returns. Rather than further delay the resolution of your tax debt, now is a great time to take advantage of the additional time and take critical steps toward putting any tax problems behind you – permanently.
Having all of your returns filed and processed qualifies you for a host of IRS resolution options. We are also using this time to put together the financial condition of existing clients so we can propose a resolution that is ready to begin later in the summer.
In addition, our small business clients that are behind on filing returns will need to get caught up to qualify for any of the myriad loan programs now offered by the federal government. The bank will want to see your most recent filed tax returns before they even begin considering you for a loan. Our individual prospective clients will also want to get caught up with their filings for 2018 and 2019 so that they qualify for the stimulus checks that are already being processed by the IRS.
We offer a free consultation with a licensed tax professional, not a sales person. We want to help you write your comeback story and the COVID-19 pandemic is another opportunity for us to put that belief to the test. Get ahead of the game and call Boxelder Consulting at 303-317-6111.