The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may send taxpayers a correspondence requesting clarification or additional information. Taxpayers who respond to these notices may find themselves waiting weeks or months for a response. Taxpayers often wonder if this lag in response time is concerning or just another example of how COVID-19 continues to cause delays in everything from certain government agencies to our morning coffee.
The IRS notes that common services like phone support, processing of returns filed on paper and answering mail are services that continue to experience COVID-19 related delays. So in some cases, especially if the taxpayer answered the correspondence through a mailing, the delayed response is a result of pandemic related issues.
How long do taxpayers have to wait to hear from the IRS after answering a notice?
The agency claims it is processing the responses within the order it receives them and opening the mailings within the normal timeframe. However, they also clarify that resource restrictions are leading to a lag in actual processing times. The IRS further states the average time varies depending on the issue.
When should I worry?
Since the IRS is not giving more concrete information on average timelines, time alone is not a good indicator. Factors that could trigger a need for additional concern include the issue the IRS is requesting clarification or additional information about and any additional correspondences.
Navigating these matters is no easy task. The attorneys at Goldburd McCone are experienced in tax matters and can review the correspondence on your behalf. They can provide guidance on the various ways to handle these communications with the IRS and discuss the likelihood of any potential consequences and ways to mitigate this risk.