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The IRS is Restarting Collections in 2024 

The IRS is Restarting Collections in 2024

In a significant development, the IRS has announced the resumption of collections in 2024. This marks a crucial phase in the aftermath of the global economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This decision has implications for taxpayers across the United States, as the IRS seeks to address the mounting financial pressures faced by the government. However, the IRS is providing penalty relief to nearly 5 million taxpayers. In this article, we’ll discuss the details of IRS collections in 2024 and tax relief options available for those with tough tax situations. 

Background 

The temporary halt on IRS collections was initiated in February 2022 as a response to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. It provided relief to countless individuals and businesses struggling to meet their tax obligations. The suspension aimed to alleviate immediate financial burdens and stimulate economic recovery. Although taxpayers should note that the failure-to-pay penalty continues to accrue during nonpayment. However, as the nation slowly recovers, the IRS has deemed it necessary to reinstate collections to ensure the sustained functioning of essential government services. 

Key Changes in IRS Collections 

The IRS will send out collection notices again beginning in January 2024. The IRS is focusing on taxpayers with taxes bills for tax years before 2022. They will also send notices to businesses, tax-exempt organizations, trusts, and estates with tax bills from before 2023. The specific IRS notice being sent out will be IRS LT38, which is a notice of resumption. Taxpayers who receive this letter should contact the IRS about payments or other options available to them. If action is not taken, the next notice they receive will involve more serious action leading to IRS collections.  

As collections resume, the IRS will also ramp up its enforcement efforts to address outstanding tax debts. This may involve increased audits, investigations, and legal actions against non-compliant taxpayers. It is crucial for individuals and businesses to ensure compliance with tax obligations to avoid potential legal consequences. 

IRS Penalty Relief 

To ease the new collections process, the IRS is offering penalty relief to nearly 5 million taxpayers, including businesses and tax-exempt organizations. The IRS did not send these taxpayers automated notices during the pandemic. The relief will come in the form of waivers for failure-to-pay penalties, adding up to $1 billion. Eligible taxpayers will automatically receive penalty abatement in their online accounts with no further action needed. If the taxpayer already paid their penalties for tax years 2020 and 2021, they would receive a refund. Alternatively, the IRS may credit the payment towards another tax bill. Refunds and credits will be sent out beginning in January 2024. More information can be found in IRS Notice 2024-7 on their website.  

To be eligible for penalty relief, taxpayers must have a tax balance of less than $100,000 for each return and each entity. They also must have received an initial balance due notice between February 5, 2022, and December 7, 2023. The IRS will resume the failure-to-pay penalty for eligible taxpayers on April 1, 2024. 

Preparing for IRS Collections Resumption 

As the IRS gears up to resume collections, taxpayers are encouraged to take proactive steps to manage their tax liabilities effectively: 

  1. Review Financial Situation: Assess your current financial situation and evaluate your ability to meet tax obligations. Understanding your financial standing will help you make informed decisions and explore available options. 
  1. Explore Payment Plans: Investigate installment plans and other payment options offered by the IRS. Engage with the agency to negotiate a plan that aligns with your financial capacity. 
  1. Seek Professional Guidance: Consult with tax professionals or financial advisors to navigate the complexities of tax obligations. They can provide valuable insights into available options and help you make informed decisions. 
  1. Stay Informed: Stay updated on IRS communications and guidelines regarding the resumption of collections. The IRS website and official announcements will be valuable sources of information during this period. 

More Relief Options for Taxpayers Who Owe 

The IRS resuming collections in 2024 marks a pivotal moment for taxpayers in the United States. While it signifies a return to normalcy for government revenue collection, the penalty relief demonstrates a commitment to supporting individuals and businesses still recovering from the economic impact of the pandemic. By staying informed and proactively managing their tax obligations, taxpayers can navigate the challenges posed by the resumption of collections and work towards financial stability. Optima Tax Relief is the nation’s leading tax resolution firm with over a decade of experience helping taxpayers with tough tax situations. 

If You Need Tax Help, Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation 

I Received an IRS Notice: Now What?

i received an irs notice now what

Receiving an IRS notice in the mail can be scary, but the situation can be less daunting if you know what to do. First, it’s important to note that not all IRS notices are negative as some are only informational. In any case, taxpayers should know what steps to take upon receiving an IRS notice. 

Do Review Your IRS Notice 

The IRS will send notices for many reasons, from notifying you of a balance due to informing you of a delay in processing your return. From inquiring whether your return is missing a schedule or form required for processing to informing you of a potential audit. Carefully review your notice for important information. If you’re unsure of what the notice means, you can look up the CP or LTR number, located on the top or bottom right-hand corner of the notice.

It also shows the date and time the IRS expects you to respond. In the best case scenario, the IRS is pursuing a correspondence audit covering one or two items of a single year’s tax return. Correspondence audits are conducted entirely by mail and makeup 75 to 80 percent of all audits. An in-person interview audit takes place at your local IRS office. A field audit is scheduled for a particular date and time but takes place in your home or office. It is considered the most comprehensive type of audit. 

Do Not Panic

Understand what auditors are seeking. While each audit is different, all audits focus on three basic questions: 

  1. Is your business truly a business – or just a hobby? 
  2. Are your deductions legitimate? 
  3. Did you report all your income? 

If you can answer these three questions to the satisfaction of the auditor, you stand a good chance of emerging from an audit relatively unscathed. 

Do Gather Your Documentation

Once you have determined what information the IRS is seeking, it’s time to begin gathering your paperwork. If the IRS is challenging a particular deduction or tax credit that you claimed, gather whatever documentation you have to support your claim. This can include bank statements, receipts, and invoices. Provide as much information as possible concerning the inquiries the IRS has made. Also, make photocopies of everything that you intend to provide to the IRS. Never give up your original documents. If you must report in person for an office audit or prepare your home or office for a field audit, ensure that your paperwork – and your representative – will be available and ready.

Do Respond to the IRS Notice in a Timely Manner  

If the information on the notice looks inaccurate, you should respond with a written dispute. Doing so in a timely manner can help minimize interest and penalty fees. Be sure to include any information and supplemental documentation to support your case. However, do not volunteer information the IRS has not specifically requested.  Typically, the IRS should respond to disputes within 30 days.  

Do Check for Scams 

Remember that the IRS will never contact you via text message or social media. In fact, initial contact from the IRS is usually via mail. If the IRS notice does not appear credible, you can always check your online tax account on the IRS website to confirm balances due, communication preferences, and more. 

The IRS will notify a taxpayer if they believe that there may be fraudulent activity occurring on their tax return. The IRS will send a letter to you inquiring about a suspicious tax return that you may have not filed. They will request that you do not e-file your return because of the duplicate social security number that was used. Act quickly should you receive this letter from the IRS to avoid further fraudulent activity with your personal information.  

Do Not Ignore the IRS Notice 

Some IRS notices are purely informational and require no additional action. However, do not assume this is always the case and ignore the notice. Simple mistakes made on your return or underreporting income can result in the IRS requesting action from you. A notice can also be a notification that you owe taxes and will give instructions on how to pay the balance by the due date.  

Do Not Reply to the IRS Notice Unless Instructed To Do So

Typically, a response to an IRS notice is not needed. Once you confirm a response is not required, you can proceed with other actions. Even if the notice informs you of a balance due, there is no need to contact the IRS unless you do not agree with the information on the notice.  

Do Learn from the Experience 

Use the situation as an opportunity to learn more about tax regulations and ensure that your future tax filings are accurate and complete. Consider consulting with a tax professional for ongoing guidance. 

Tax Help for Those Who Received an IRS Notice 

Even if you prepare your own returns, having a professional from Optima Tax Relief check out your response before you return it to the IRS may save you from making a costly error. The IRS allows you to be accompanied by a representative if you have been contacted for an in-person interview audit or a field audit. Take advantage of this opportunity. You’ll likely be nervous during the procedure and may share information that might prompt the IRS agent to probe beyond the original scope of inquiry. Not only that, most IRS agents prefer dealing with a professional. 

The best thing to do to avoid receiving warnings from the IRS is to always ensure that you remain compliant with tax law. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you owe the IRS, tax relief is always an option. Optima Tax Relief is the nation’s leading tax resolution firm with over $1 billion in resolved tax liabilities. 

If You Need Tax Help, Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation 

Ask Phil: IRS Notices

Today, Optima Tax Relief’s Lead Tax Attorney, Phil Hwang, discusses IRS notices, including when you can expect a notice to turn into enforcement and how to respond to a notice. 

When does the IRS Levy?

Receiving an IRS notice can be very intimidating, especially when you are being notified of a tax balance due. But most people want to know exactly how many notices the IRS will send before they begin to take certain actions, such as levying your bank accounts, garnishing your wages, or placing a lien on your property. Unfortunately, there is not a set number that will trigger IRS enforcement as each case is different, but on average, a taxpayer might see about six notices come in the mail before the IRS begins to collect. A Final Notice of Intent to Levy will always be sent before the IRS takes action. The IRS will not and cannot take action without it.  

IRS Final Notice of Intent to Levy

If you receive a Final Notice of Intent to Levy, you should act immediately. If you do not, the IRS can seize your property, bank accounts, wages, government benefits, and more. The most obvious way to resolve the issue is to pay your tax balance in full within the set amount of time the IRS provides. Although most people who find themselves in these situations typically do not have the funds to pay, doing something is better than ignoring the issue. Some other options you may have are: 

  • Setting up an installment agreement with the IRS 
  • Submitting an offer in compromise 
  • Apply for Currently Not Collectible status 
  • Apply for Innocent Spouse Relief  
  • Request a Collection Due Process hearing if you disagree with the notice 

Tune in next Friday for another episode of “Ask Phil” where Phil will break down IRS audits. 

If You Received an IRS Notice, Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation 

Many Erroneous CP14s Have Been Issued – Here’s What You Need to Know

irs notice cp14

IRS Notice CP14 is sent to taxpayers to inform them of an outstanding balance on their federal tax account. It serves as a bill for unpaid taxes. It includes details such as the amount owed, accrued interest, and any penalties incurred. While receiving this notice might not be a shock for many, some taxpayers impacted by a declared disaster area may be surprised to see a CP14 in their mailbox despite IRS promises of tax relief. If you are one of these taxpayers who mistakenly received IRS Notice CP14 despite being in a disaster area, don’t panic. Many erroneous CP14s have been issued by the IRS. Here is what you need to know. 

Which disaster areas qualify for automatic tax extensions? 

The IRS has continued to issue automatic tax extensions to those impacted by natural disasters. These areas have included impacted counties of the following 12 states: 

  • California 
  • Florida 
  • Oklahoma 
  • Indiana 
  • Tennessee 
  • Arkansas 
  • Mississippi 
  • New York 
  • Georgia 
  • Alabama 

It also includes the impacted areas of Guam and the Mariana Islands. A full list of impacted qualified disaster areas can be found at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-relief-in-disaster-situations. All taxpayers in impacted areas were automatically given an extension of time to file. They might’ve also received an extension to pay until October 16, 2023, or another form of tax relief.  

Why did I receive a CP14 if I’m in a disaster area? 

IRS Notice CP14s have been sent out because the IRS is legally required to if a balance is due. However, many Californian taxpayers living or working in disaster areas have received this notice which demands payment to the IRS within 21 days. Unfortunately for Californians impacted by disaster, this sends mixed messages. The IRS has issued guidance to let these taxpayers know that they do indeed have until October 16, 2023 to file and pay their 2022 taxes.  

What should I do if I received a CP14 if I’m in a disaster area? 

If you received IRS Notice CP14 but you have been given an automatic tax extension due to disaster relief, you do not need to worry about submitting payment within 21 days as the notice instructs. In fact, these letters should also include a specific insert stating that the payment date indicated in the letter does not apply to anyone covered by a disaster declaration, and that the disaster dates still apply. 

While it may seem counter-intuitive, affected taxpayers do not need to call the IRS for confirmation. Doing so may result in extremely long wait times. The IRS has issued an apology for the confusion this has caused. At Optima, we understand how intimidating an IRS notice can be.  

If You Need Tax Help, Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation