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IRS Taxpayer Advocate to Start Working on Virus Payment Issues

July 31, 2020, 3:53 PM

Some people having problems accessing their coronavirus relief payments will soon be able to ask the IRS’s Taxpayer Advocate Service for assistance.

The IRS has distributed hundreds of billions of dollars in economic impact payments authorized under the CARES Act (Public Law 116-136), but millions of people are still waiting to receive aid.

Erin M. Collins, the leader of the agency’s independent arm that helps taxpayers resolve problems, previously said the IRS didn’t have a process in place to fix issues people had with the economic impact payments, making it impossible for the advocate service to help.

Collins, in a Thursday blog post, said the agency has established procedures to assist taxpayers in five scenarios, including situations where people who normally wouldn’t file a tax return didn’t get supplemental money they were owed for dependent children and where people were victims of identity theft.

Given those changes, the advocate service will start accepting cases within those categories and meeting the organization’s other criteria beginning Aug. 10, Collins said.

The organization will provide more information in the coming weeks, Collins said, including more specifics on whether taxpayers having trouble will be able to receive their payment now or will have to wait until they file their 2020 tax return next year.

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; Kathy Larsen at klarsen@bloombergtax.com

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