Topics Include: Update from Commissioner Rettig and COVID-19 Compliance Issues
Immediate Past President and current Tax Chair, Stephen Mankowski, CPA, recently attended the monthly IRS Meeting.
You may be interested in the critical role of the IRS during the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is modernizing, expanding, and meeting the needs of taxpayers above and beyond normal conditions.
Commissioner Rettig began this month’s session by reinforcing the IRS brand as patriotic—one he is proud of. During this period, the IRS enhanced usage of electronic signatures with very good results. Of 117M returns, 90.3M have e-Filed, and $245B has been refunded as of mid-May. In addition, the IRS has been sending out stimulus payments, including trying to get payments to the homeless, as they are also entitled to receive this payment. So far, over 140M payments representing $239B have been sent. 14.5M people have used the Get My Payment website. 5.8M people used the online portal.
The well-being of IRS employees has been a focal point before and during the pandemic and even more so as employees start returning to the facilities. Each facility has been cleaned and sterilized. Senior executives have been meeting daily and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. There is no pandemic recovery playbook, but the IRS continues to work with the CDC for guidance in reopening the country. Over 55K employees have been servicing taxpayers remotely while 95% of its physical facilities were closed.
In April, the IRS hired over 400 individuals to support its Automated Collection System (ACS) and they will continue to hire more individuals, including recent college graduates. The training has been virtual with dozens of classes as they continue to assess operations daily.
Regarding appeals, employees have been able to go to offices to access case files if they were unable to handle the specific appeal without paper files. Overall, secure email has been helpful to keep cases moving forward and the IRS hopes that electronic communications will continue to increase regardless of the reason.
The IRS has expanded the use of digital signatures over and above the Philadelphia pilot on digital initiatives. The various IRS Business Divisions have moved secure messaging forward and it will continue to increase over time.
Overall the IRS is working hard at delivering on its primary roles and taking on new responsibilities in stride. We commend the work they are doing, and we thank them.
Stay tuned for monthly IRS updates from NCCPAP.
The National Conference of CPA Practitioners (NCCPAP) is a professional organization comprised of Certified Public Accountants practicing in the United States. In addition to serving as a forum for education, networking, and community impact, NCCPAP also advocates for its clients. NCCPAP influences tax administration and tax policy by regularly meeting with Internal Revenue Service representatives, state taxing authorities, and elected officials. NCCPAP members represent over one million businesses and individual clients. The organization is headquartered in Woodbury, NY. For more information visit, www.NCCPAP.org.
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Francine Carb Pat Sornberger