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IRS NEWS FOR EVERYONE

April 2020

►UPCOMING WEBINARS

We expect to have a webinar in April, but the date is not set yet. Please check Webinars for Tax Practitioners or Webinars for Small Businesses for updates.

►CORONAVIRUS TAX RELIEF

Coronavirus Tax Relief

·         This is the main page on IRS.gov with information about Coronavirus Tax Relief.

·         Check this page frequently for new information.

·         It has News Releases, Statements, Frequently Asked Questions, Guidance, Tax Help, Social Media and Other Resources.

FAQs for Filing and Payment Deadlines

·         What you’ll find here:

o    Filing and payment extended to 7-15-2020 for many types of tax returns.

o    Which types of tax returns do NOT get an extended deadline?

o    Information on Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Archer Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs)

TWO FAQs to highlight

·         Estimated Tax Payments

Q16. The Notice postpones the deadline for first quarter 2020 estimated income tax payments due on April 15, 2020. What about second quarter estimated tax payments due on June 15? Have they been postponed as well?

A16. No, second quarter 2020 estimated income tax payments are still due on June 15, 2020. First quarter 2020 estimated income tax payments are postponed from April 15 to July 15, 2020.

·         File 2016 Form 1040 by 4-15-2020

Q22. I want to file a claim for a refund for 2016, which must be filed by April 15, 2020 to be timely. Does this relief give me more time to claim my 2016 refund?

A22. No, the relief provided for filing Federal income tax returns applies only to Federal income tax returns for the 2019 taxable year. The Notice does not extend relief to any filings or payments for taxable year 2016.

Taxpayer Assistance Centers Temporarily Closed

·         In response to the national emergency, the IRS has temporarily closed all Taxpayer Assistance Centers and discontinued face-to-face service throughout the country until further notice.

·         The IRS is continuing to process tax returns, issue refunds and help taxpayers to the greatest extent possible. Taxpayers are highly encouraged to go to IRS.gov for help and online tools.

What if I was planning to drop off a 2016 tax return at a TAC?

·         You can mail it. See mailing addresses here.

o    Where to File Tax Returns - Addresses Listed by Return Type

o    Where to File Paper Tax Returns With or Without a Payment

·         If you decide to use a Private Delivery Service, see:

o    Private Delivery Services PDS

o    Here are the street addresses of the submission processing centers for delivery by a PDS

People First Initiative; IRS temporarily adjusts, suspends key compliance program

·         This page has information on existing and new installment agreements, Offers in Compromise, liens and levies. More details will be forthcoming.

IRS Mission-critical functions continue

·         As the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak continues, the IRS is taking multiple steps to protect our employees, America's taxpayers and our partners. Although we are curtailing some operations during this period, the IRS is continuing with mission-critical functions to support the nation, and that includes accepting tax returns and sending refunds.

o    Refund filers: File as soon you can

o    Don't forget state tax returns; different deadlines may apply

o    Taxpayer correspondence. While able to receive mail, the IRS will be responding to paper correspondence only to a very limited degree during this period. Taxpayers who mail correspondence to the IRS during this period should expect to wait longer than usual for a response. Even after normal operations resume as it will take the IRS time to work through any correspondence backlog.

o    See page above for “Compliance activity” and “Statute of limitations issues.”

o    Taxpayer Advocate Service. Currently, TAS remains open to receive phone calls at the local phone numbers but has suspended walk-in services in their offices and their toll-free centralized number is unavailable until further notice. Please visit taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov to locate your local office phone number.

CARES ACT - ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENTS

·         Please see this page. We will be adding more details soon.

o    Economic impact payments: What you need to know

SCAM ALERTS

·         If you get a call, text, or email saying they need information in order to send you the economic impact payment, it’s a scam!

·         The BBB has excellent info on SCAMS related to Coronavirus. Please check it out!

·         The SBA has programs to help small business owners. Scammers are taking advantage of this.  

o    A business owner received a scam email after applying for an SBA Disaster Loan with a false loan number and asking for IRS tax info to complete the loan application.

o    Another small business owner received an email stating she needed to provide her credit card number and $97 to complete the loan application.

·         Social Security Scam related to Coronavirus

o    The Social Security Office of the Inspector General has received reports that Social Security beneficiaries have received letters stating their payments will be suspended or discontinued unless they call a phone number referenced in the letter. Scammers may then mislead beneficiaries into providing personal information or payment via retail gift cards, wire transfers, internet currency, or by mailing cash, to maintain regular benefit payments during this period of COVID-19 office closures. Social Security will not suspend or discontinue benefits because their offices are closed.

►EMPLOYEE RETENTION CREDIT

IRS: Employee Retention Credit available for many businesses financially impacted by COVID-19

·         The Treasury Department and the IRS launched the Employee Retention Credit, designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19.

FAQs: Employee Retention Credit under the CARES Act

·         The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), enacted on March 27, 2020, is designed to encourage Eligible Employers to keep employees on their payroll, despite experiencing economic hardship related to COVID-19, with an employee retention tax credit (Employee Retention Credit).

FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT

Treasury, IRS and Labor announce plan to implement Coronavirus-related paid leave for workers and tax credits for small and midsize businesses to swiftly recover the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave

·         The Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to pay sick or family leave wages to employees who are unable to work or telework due to certain circumstances related to COVID-19. Employers are entitled to a refundable tax credit for the required leave paid, up to specified limits. [See FAQs]. The same wages cannot be counted for both credits.

·         Two sets of FAQs:

1.     FAQs from the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division:

DOL Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers.

2.     FAQs from the IRS:

COVID-19-Related Tax Credits for Required Paid Leave Provided by Small and Midsize Businesses FAQs

EMPLOYERS

See FAQ #6 on this page:

·         Q6. Does the relief provided in the Notice apply to payroll or excise taxes?

·         A6.  No, under the Notice, normal filing, payment, and deposit due dates continue to apply to both payroll and excise taxes. (See exception in Notice 2020-22.)

Relief from Penalty for Failure to Deposit Employment Taxes

·         Notice 2020-22 provides a waiver of additions to tax for failure to make a deposit of taxes for employers required to pay qualified sick leave wages and qualified family leave wages mandated by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Families First Act) and qualified health plan expenses allocable to these wages. 

·         This notice also provides a waiver of additions to tax for failure to make a deposit of taxes for certain employers subject to a full or partial closure order due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) or experiencing a statutorily specified decline in business under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). 

·         Please see Notice 2020-22 for more details.

►ASSISTANCE FOR BUSINESSES

The SBA can help!

Two SBA emergency capital programs are available today and more will be coming soon:

  • 1.     Low interest, long term Economic Injury Disaster Loans for up to $2 million: The first payment is deferred for 12 months. The application has been simplified and can be completed 100% online through our improved web portal at www.sba.gov/disaster.
  • 2.     Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance for up to $10,000: The form to apply is part of the economic injury disaster loan application. If approved, these funds can be used for payroll and other operating expenses and will be forgiven.

Soon the SBA and Treasury Department will launch the new Paycheck Protection Program to help keep employees on payroll and small businesses operating. Additional information about this program will be shared in the coming days.

To get the most up-to-date information as things develop, visit www.sba.gov/disaster and subscribe to our e-newsletter via www.sba.gov/updates.

Also, follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sbagov 

For detailed information on SBA programs for the coronavirus, please visit www.sba.gov/coronavirus

Find your local SBA office here.

SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTERS can help!

  • ·         SBDC Business Advisors are available to help you sort through everything and make informed choices for your business. We cover the entire nation and our business consulting services are free and confidential. With nearly 1,000 centers across the nation, there is an SBDC near you. Find your local SBDC here.

SCORE can help!

·         For over 50 years, SCORE has served as America’s premier source of free business mentoring and education.

·         As a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE has helped more than 11 million entrepreneurs through mentoring, workshops and educational resources since 1964.

·         Find your local SCORE chapter here.

Also check with your local Chamber of Commerce or local business development organization. They are eager to help you!

►TAX PROFESSIONALS

Practitioner Priority Service

  • ·         The Practitioner Priority Service line is closed. Expect delays for Centralized Authorization File (CAF) number authorizations. Please look for help on IRS.gov. Normal operations will resume as soon as possible.

Incorrect routing or account number for direct deposit of refund

  • ·         The IRS assumes no responsibility for tax preparer or taxpayer error.
  • ·         Depending on the type of error, the IRS will try to do a direct deposit. If it does not go through, the IRS will issue a paper check. Refunds will be delayed.
  • ·         It says you can call 800-829-1040, but those lines aren’t fully staffed right now. Besides, calling doesn’t work when the return was e-filed. Calling only works when the return is mailed and hasn’t posted to our system yet.

”REGULAR” IDENTITY THEFT

  • ·         The IRS continues to process tax returns. If we think the return might have come from a fraudster, we will send your client either Letter 4883C or Letter 5071C. Please reply to this letter!

►e-NEWS SUBSCRIPTIONS and SOCIAL MEDIA

e-News Subscriptions

·         The IRS offers several e-News subscriptions on a variety of tax topics. Click above for information about subscribing.

IRS Social Media

·         The IRS uses social media tools to share the latest information on tax changes, scam alerts, initiatives, products and services. Connect with the IRS through social media tools.

HOW TO SHARE IRS INFO ON SOCIAL MEDIA

When you find an article you want to share, click on the “Share” link. Like so:

  • Scroll to the bottom of any page on IRS.gov. Look for “Share / Print”
  • Click on Share
  • You can share on Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin.




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