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U.S. House and Senate letters call for taxpayer and tax preparer IRS relief

Written on Jan 28, 2022

OSCPA staff report 

In a bipartisan effort, the U.S. House and Senate sent letters on Jan. 26 asking the IRS to consider measures to bring immediate relief to tax preparers and taxpayers. These two letters follow one previously sent on Dec. 9 by nearly 100 Congressional members. 

The House letter, addressed to Secretary Janet Yellen, had 191 signers including Ohio Congressional members Brad Wenstrup (R-2), Bill Johnson (R-6), Bob Gibbs (R-7), Tim Ryan (D-13), and Mike Carey (R-15). The Senate letter, addressed to Yellen and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, had 25 signers including Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). The letters cover the impact the backlog and delayed processing is having on Americans and small businesses and requests help immediately. 

The measures asked to be taken are to: 

  • Halt automated collections from now until at least 90 days after April 18, 2022;
  • Delay the collection process for filers until any active and pending penalty abatement requests have been processed;
  • Streamline the reasonable cause penalty abatement process for taxpayers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic without the need for written correspondence;
  • Provide targeted tax penalty relief for taxpayers who paid at least 70 percent of the tax due for the 2020 and 2021 tax year; and
  • Expedite processing of amended returns and provide TAS and congressional caseworkers with timely responses. 

The concern is well founded, as recently IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig warned Americans to prepare for a frustrating tax season because of coronavirus-related staffing issues, the new stimulus programs and of funding. 

The IRS responded the following day on Jan. 27 by announcing its intention to stop some notices to taxpayers as they increase resources to process backlogged files. The IRS agreed to halt “automated notices in cases where a payment has been credited to a taxpayer, but no return has been processed.” 

While this action is a positive first step, OSCPA believes that more should be and could be done by the IRS, without the need for congressional action, to reduce erroneous automated notices and unnecessary taxpayer contact with the IRS. 

Write to your representative today through our Take Action tool to let them know how this impacts you!