June IRS news

The IRS has sent 159 million stimulus checks so far.  But there is still an estimated 30 million to 35 million payments that remain to be sent.

The IRS had previously announced that it would be sending stimulus checks to people that it does not have bank account information needed for direct deposit.  However, the IRS is now planning to send prepaid debit cards to some of these individuals. 

If you have not received your stimulus yet, be careful when throwing away junk mail.  If the IRS sends a stimulus debit card, it will be sent in a plain envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services. 

If you have a question about your stimulus payment the IRS phone number for stimulus questions is 800-919-9835.  The IRS still has a reduced number of employees so you should expect a long wait time.  However, if you have a tax pro, they may be able to get through to the IRS on the Tax Practitioner Hotline in a matter of minutes.

Currently, IRS employees don’t have the ability to adjust stimulus payments.  Most people who need to adjust their stimulus if it is too low will need to make the correction when they file their 2020 tax return.  Taxpayers will reconcile their amount of stimulus when filing their 2020 tax return.

The pandemic has had a huge impact on the IRS.  They are beginning to slowly bring back employees in order to work on essential services such as processing mail.  Millions of pieces of mail have piled up while their offices were closed.  Consequently, there will be huge delays in processing taxpayer’s mailed tax returns and other documents.

Due to the long delays in processing IRS mail you may want to consider efiling your return even if you have always mailed it in the past.  By efiling and using direct deposit, you can normally expect to receive your refund in about two weeks.  Mailing your return could result in having to wait months for your refund.

The IRS has announced changes with its use of the private tax-debt collection program. 

The IRS must also allow two years to elapse since the assessment for the tax to become eligible before being turned over for private debt collection.  Previously the amount of time was one year. 

The IRS has been barred from turning over low-income individuals to private collection.

Taxpayers will soon be able to set up an installment agreement to pay off their taxes in seven years instead of five years.  However, you should consider paying off your tax debt as quickly as possible to avoid paying additional amounts of interest.

David Zubler is a tax accountant and Enrolled Agent representing clients before the IRS with over 25 years of tax experience. He is the author of four tax books and is the founder and president of Your Tax Care. The company provides business and tax education to the public at its website, YourTaxCare.com. David can also be contacted by email at zublerdavid@gmail.com