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IRS suspends key compliance programs, responding to coronavirus (COVID-19)

IRS suspends key compliance programs, coronavirus

The IRS today announced it was providing relief on a variety of issues ranging from easing payment guidelines to postponing compliance actions.

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Among the relief measures described in IR-2020-59 (March 25, 2020), the IRS stated that:

  • During this period, the IRS will generally not start new field, office and correspondence examinations; will continue to work refund claims when possible, without in-person contact, but may start new examinations when deemed necessary to protect the government's interest in preserving the applicable statute of limitations.
  • IRS Appeals Office employees will continue to work their cases, and even though Appeals is not currently holding in-person conferences with taxpayers, conferences may be held over the telephone or by video conference.
  • The IRS will continue to take necessary steps to protect all applicable statutes of limitations. In instances when statute expirations might be jeopardized during this period, taxpayers are encouraged to cooperate in extending such statutes. Otherwise, the IRS will issue deficiency notices and pursue other similar actions to protect the interests of the government in preserving such statutes. Where a statutory period is not set to expire during 2020, the IRS states that it is unlikely to pursue the foregoing actions until at least July 15, 2020.
  • Practitioners need to be aware that depending on staffing levels and allocations going forward, there may be more significant wait times for the “Practitioner Priority Service” (PPS).

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