The IRS on Overload – Relax and go Online

Friends, this is an amazingly bad time for the IRS – and the tax prep software industry – and us – tax professionals.
1) Everyone was totally organized and ready for tax season by December. Until WHAM! Congress passes a set of new laws that has everyone scrambling to re-write software, while the IRS changes forms, and issues new guidelines to explain the procedures for the new laws.The IRS wasn’t finished with the last new set of laws from 2017 -TCJA
2) Just as things are starting to get organized, Wham! We get faced with isolation – so no one can go to work.

IRS offices gradually, then suddenly close.
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New ways to deal with routine issues need to be put into place.
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3) More Wham! The entire world is in isolation and the IRS is flooded with questions, and questions, and questions, and emergency after emergency as taxpayers are trying to avoid levies, garnishments, etc., as well as to get routine things done.
If you ever wondered what it would take for the IRS to reach overload? You are looking at it now.
They ARE going to do the best they can, In fact,
we have a new, permanent Taxpayer Advocate, Erin N. Collins in place on Monday. She’s going to face a flood of emergencies. The current acting advocate, Bridget Roberts will remain as her deputy.

(Thanks Ms. Roberts for helping so many people – and continuing to do so.)
Meanwhile, the rest of the IRS is going to push on to establish ways for us to work with them electronically and remotely.
So, please, before trying to call or make direct contact, please use the wealth of IRS tools on their website. People who have been filing regularly should have all the information you need to access those online apps and tools. That’s MOST taxpayers in the country (and outside it).
The main people who won’t be able to use those services are those who have not filed tax returns for more than a year or two. Sadly, you’re the ones facing the lien/levy/garnishment problems. The good news is – no new liens/levies or garnishments are being issued by the IRS computers.