Below is our understanding of the appropriate ways to be in touch with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as of right now. All of this information is as of today, and with all of this type of information, it can change at a moment’s notice.
The practitioner’s hotline (that’s the one we would call on your behalf) is closed along with, most if not all, other IRS phone lines. Thus, I would not expect to talk to anyone from the IRS soon.
The Centralized Authorization File aka “CAF” unit fax line is not accepting faxes. Therefore, we cannot send Power of Attorneys (POAs) at this time. We do expect processing time to increase once this is opened back up.
E-services is still working. If we have a POA already on file on your behalf, then we do have the ability to pull your tax transcripts.
The IRS is accepting mail. However, it is our understanding that only returns and payments are being processed unless you are sending information to a specific agent. This will cause significant delays in processing correspondence even after they open back up. They were already behind from the shut down last year. All IRS correspondence needs to be sent certified or via FedEx to have proof of arrival and acceptance. Sending mail certified has become very difficult due to closures, lines and wait times at the post office. We recommend waiting to send correspondence if possible.
Most IRS workers have been sent home; however, some do have the capacity to work from home. We expect those working from home will be field officers working on audit and collections cases already in process and most likely pushing through high dollar collections or statutes expiring.
It is our understanding that levy and lien action will be put on hold for the time being.
It is also our understanding that taxpayers can put their installment agreement payments on hold, but we have not yet determined how to do this. There is an automated hotline to cancel and reschedule payments (888-353-4537). This is provided on the IRS website in reference to current year direct debit payments made for April that want to be rescheduled to July. It is possible this could also be used for installment agreement payments.
Again, that’s what we understand to be the case at this point. If you need help or have any questions, please contact your JMF tax advisor.