IRS has updated its website detailing what it calls its “mission-critical functions” during the COVID-19 pandemic. The update includes information regarding paper returns and the release of levies due to COVID-19 hardship.
The IRS has updated its mission-critical website to include the following information:
Paper tax returns:
All taxpayers should file electronically through their tax preparer, tax software provider, or IRS Free File if possible. The IRS is not currently able to process individual paper tax returns. If a taxpayer has already filed via paper but the return has not yet been processed, the taxpayer should not file a second tax return or write to the IRS to inquire about the status of the return or economic impact payment. The IRS says paper returns will be processed once processing centers are able to reopen. The IRS adds that, this year, more than 90% of taxpayers have filed electronically.
Levies will not be automatically released. IRS will consider taxpayers’ requests to release levies on a case by case basis if the levy is causing an economic hardship. “Economic hardship” means the levy prevents the taxpayer from meeting basic, reasonable living expenses. The IRS may ask for additional financial information to determine if a levy is causing an economic hardship.
If the taxpayer is working with a revenue officer (RO) and wishes to request a release of a levy, the taxpayer should contact the RO. For cases not assigned to a RO, taxpayers who wish to request a levy release should call the number on the notice of levy. If the taxpayer is unable to get through, the taxpayer should fax the request to 855-796-4524. The request should include the taxpayer’s name, address and social security numbers (for both the taxpayer and spouse if they file jointly). In addition, include the name, address and fax number of the taxpayer’s employer or bank where the levy is being processed.
The fax number will only be used to address emergency levy release requests. Due to IRS’s current limited staffing, it will not respond to other issues sent to this fax line.
The IRS says that it is processing all electronically submitted lien certificate applications (certifying that either (1) a lien should be completely released or (2) a portion of the property subject to the lien is to be discharged from the lien, in accordance with Reg §301.6325-1) normally and assigning them within 10 days. To protect the health and safety of IRS employees and taxpayers, the IRS is NOT currently processing lien certificate applications submitted on paper and mailed to the Advisory Consolidated Receipts (ACR) site in Florence, KY. The IRS is working to reopen its offices and to restore mail service and will provide updates as the situation changes.
The IRS requests that taxpayers use the E-Fax line for its ACR site (844-201-8382) for certificates (i.e., requests) related to: selling or transferring property subject to a lien; borrowing or refinancing using property subject to the lien; borrowing to purchase property when taxes are owed; clarifying whom a lien is against or what a lien attaches; and removing the effect of a notice of lien in the public record. The E-Fax line should also be used to requests the IRS’s consent to the non-judicial sale of property.