The IRS Isn’t Processing Paper Tax Returns

Internal Revenue Service suggests that taxpayers e-file their tax returns instead.

In a press release encouraging taxpayers to electronically file their tax returns, the Internal Revenue Service yesterday evening said that it was not currently processing paper tax returns.

As if we needed further evidence that COVID-9 has upended everything that’s familiar in the US, the IRS announcing that it has temporarily suspended the processing of paper tax returns underscores another facet of our “new normal” post-coronavirus.

At the beginning of April, the IRS—pursuant to a recommendation from the Office of Personnel Management—notified its remaining on-site employees that they would be need to start working from home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. This shift to “telework” also meant that many IRS services would be temporarily suspended.

The IRS has specifically cited the temporary suspension of the following services as a result of taking precautionary measures against COVID-19:

  • Live phone support
  • Processing paper correspondence
  • Taxpayer Assistance Centers
  • Distribution of paper forms
  • IVES Request Processing

In addition to urging taxpayers to use electronic resources to file a tax return, the IRS suggested using online tools for other tax-related services, like requesting a transcript, paying tax owed, and checking the status of a tax refund.

Finally, if any of your clients have already filed a paper return, the IRS does not want them to e-file another tax return. Alluding to a substantial backlog for other written requests, the agency said, “Paper returns will be processed once processing centers are able to open.”

Source: IR-2020-68

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