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IRS Pivots to Hearings Via Phone While Virus Outbreak Continues

April 1, 2020, 6:31 PM

The IRS and Treasury Department will conduct public hearings on proposed regulations by telephone, until further notice, part of its effort to help stop the spread of the new coronavirus.

The agency in an announcement Wednesday said individuals who want to testify must still submit a request, provide timely public comments, and send in outlines of topics they intend to cover in their testimony. Speakers will still have up to 10 minutes to testify and may be asked questions by the government panel, the IRS said.

  • The announcement marks the latest change to IRS and Treasury operations as officials try to comply with Covid-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency has also eased its e-signature policies, mandated that telework-eligible employees work remotely, and paused some enforcement action.
  • Individuals who want to speak at or attend hearings must send an email to publichearings@irs.gov to receive the telephone number and access code for the hearing. The agency provided details on how the emails should be worded and when they should be submitted.
  • The IRS also urged taxpayers to submit public comments electronically.

To contact the reporter on this story: Allyson Versprille in Washington at aversprille@bloombergtax.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Patrick Ambrosio at pambrosio@bloombergtax.com; Colleen Murphy at cmurphy@bloombergtax.com

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