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IRS Halts Certain Enforcement Actions Until July 15


The IRS is halting some collection and audit activities until July 15 as the coronavirus pandemic spreads. The IRS has already taken some steps to ease enforcement, including suspending most notices and all levies issued by the automated collection system (ACS). The IRS uses ACS to demand payment on overdue tax bills and to take collection actions, including filing federal tax liens and levying assets. Notice 2020-59, which is being called the “People First Initiative”, comes as the IRS has delayed several key deadlines for tax forms and payments to July 15 in an effort to alleviate the burden on taxpayers during the coronavirus outbreak.

The IRS will be temporarily modifying several enforcement actions as soon as possible. The projected start date is April 1 and the effort will initially run through July 15. During this period, to the maximum extent possible, the IRS will avoid in-person contacts. However, the IRS will continue to take steps to protect all applicable statutes of limitations.

Highlights of the key actions related to IRS enforcement efforts, as set forth in IRS Notice 2020-59, include:

Existing Installment Agreements — For taxpayers under an existing Installment Agreement, payments due between April 1 and July 15, 2020 are suspended. The IRS will not default Installment Agreements during this period. However, interest will continue to accrue on unpaid balances.

Pending Offer in Compromise Applications — The IRS will allow taxpayers until July 15 to provide requested additional information on pending OIC applications.

Offer in Compromise Payments — Taxpayers have the option of suspending all payments on accepted OICs until July 15, 2020.

Field Collection Activities — Liens and levies initiated by field revenue officers will be suspended during this period. However, field revenue officers will continue to pursue high-income non-filers and perform other similar activities.

Automated Liens and Levies — New automatic, systemic liens and levies will be suspended during this period.

Field, Office, and Correspondence Audits — During this period, the IRS will generally not start new field, office, and correspondence examinations. 

Koley Jessen continues to monitor the situation and stay current on the federal and state tax issues facing businesses and individuals. If you have additional questions or concerns as the situation develops, please contact a member of the Koley Jessen Tax Practice Group.

* The information contained in this document is provided for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as business, legal, accounting, tax, financial, investment or other advice on any matter and should not be relied upon for such.

The information in this document may not reflect the most current developments as the subject matter is extremely fluid and may change daily. The content and interpretation of the issues addressed herein is subject to revision. Koley Jessen, P.C., L.L.O. disclaims any and all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this document to the fullest extent permitted by law. Do not act or refrain from acting upon the information contained in this document without seeking professional or other advice.

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