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The IRS is Expected to Resume Issuing Collection Notices in the Near Future

On February 5, 2022, the IRS announced that it suspended mailing more than a dozen notices, including the mailing of automated collection notices normally issued when a taxpayer owes additional tax, and the IRS has no record of a taxpayer filing a tax return.

That reprieve is about to end…

The suspension was put in place in order for the IRS to work through a backlog totaling several million returns. The IRS processes current year returns for which refunds are due first. Returns with errors are processed in the order received. For a return with an error, missing information, or a verification request, the IRS will send a letter. According to the IRS, the resolution of these issues could take more than 120 days. 

The IRS lists the following scenarios which may cause a delay in processing – “if the return…”

  • Is filed on paper 
  • Includes errors, such as incorrect Recovery Rebate Credit 
  • Is incomplete 
  • Needs further review in general 
  • Is affected by identity theft or fraud 
  • Includes a claim filed for an Earned Income Tax Credit or an Additional Child Tax Credit 
  • Includes a Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation, which could take up to 14 weeks to process  

The IRS Deputy Commissioner for Collection and Operations Support, Darren Guillot announced on May 5, 2023 that collection notices will gradually resume shortly. He stated the plan is to stagger the release of notices in order for the IRS to handle the incoming phone calls that it can generate. 

Guillot shed light on notice expectations. In his example, if a taxpayer was set to receive a final Notice of Intent to Levy right before the pause for the pandemic was instituted, “we’re probably going to give most of those taxpayers a gentle reminder notice to try and see if they want to comply before we go straight to that final notice. That’s good for the taxpayer and it’s good for the IRS. And it’s good for the appellate process as well.” 

The IRS will communicate with taxpayers and practitioners once a restart date is decided. 

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