Raise hands to heaven, the IRS can finally start dealing with its problems again.
The end of the IRS shutdown (for now), means that we can get moving on some things that have been holding us back, including getting wage levies removed, filing applications for installment agreements and offers in compromise, and all of the other pressing matters we work hard to fix on behalf of our clients.
And on top of that, this morning, as I write, the IRS has begun accepting filed tax returns. Which means, well … it’s about to get real.
Now, leaving aside the fact that the IRS will probably be dealing with the ramifications of the shutdown for quite some time, we are all going to be busy around here at Team The Bronson Law Firm, P.C..
But the shutdown will definitely pose some problems.
The AICPA recently wrote a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, in which they said: “We expect tremendous additional time to work with the IRS on correspondence once the shutdown ends.”
Specifically, the letter highlights the following areas in which the IRS is struggling, and will continue to struggle:
- Automated collection, asset seizure and intent to levy notices that were issued during the shutdown, without any IRS workers available to respond to replies by taxpayers or their attempts to resolve the issues and halt the threatened action.
- Suspension of audits and appeals prevented tax practitioners from communicating with IRS employees to resolve clients’ issues in a timely manner. Also, 90-day letters from the IRS will continue to expire, and it is uncertain how the IRS will treat expirations of response deadlines and statute of limitations rules in light of the shutdown.
- Online systems and accounts were difficult for some taxpayers and tax practitioners to access and use. Related to this, the AICPA noted that forms assigning Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, which are required for practitioners to act on behalf of taxpayers, were not being processed. That backlog needs to be dealt with ASAP.
- Limited assistance, including live telephone help for both taxpayers and tax professionals, has posed problems. So did the closure of IRS walk-in taxpayer assistance centers (TACs).
- Tax forms and guidance has essentially come to a standstill. Changes due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), combined with the shutdown, left many tax forms and instructions in the “draft” stage pending approval or not in a submittable format, likely resulting in tax software problems. This has put many filers and/or their tax professionals behind early in the filing season. The same slowdown also applies to guidance from the IRS that filers and tax preparers need in connection with some of the new tax laws.
All of this together means that any North Texas taxpayer who is needing to resolve problems they have with the IRS will have their hands full over the future weeks and months to get good responses.
The very good news, however, is that YOU have The Bronson Law Firm, P.C. in your corner.
Not only do we have a “Practitioner Priority Line” with the IRS (which opened before the shutdown ended), but we have a bunch of tools in our little bag of tricks.
We will relentlessly pursue all of our North Texas client matters until we reach a satisfactory resolution.
It helps to have a professional by your side.
And in fact … if you haven’t yet contacted us to have us handle your IRS problems, now is a GREAT time to ask us to help. Those harried, formerly-furloughed IRS employees?
We’re in your corner.
The Bronson Law Firm, P.C.