Did You Mail Your Tax Payment or Return?

…if so, don’t be surprised if you get a Failure to Pay notice from the IRS.

Tractor-trailer loads of unopened mail are sitting in the IRS parking lot. Your tax payment or return could be in one of them.

After being shut down for four months due to the coronavirus pandemic, the IRS began a phased reopening on June 1 and began digging out from under an estimated 11 million pieces of backlogged mail. Simultaneously, they also began mailing backlogged letters and notices to taxpayers. (Got to get back to normal IRS operations…)

Unfortunately, the backlogged letters and notices that the IRS started mailing didn’t account for those 11 million pieces of unopened mail. LSWG clients have already started receiving Failure to Pay notices and our guess is that we will be hearing from plenty more in the coming days and weeks. (One client e-filed their return, mailed their payment–which is probably sitting in a truck–and received a Failure to Pay notice this week.)

If you receive a notice that you believe is in error, don’t bother calling the IRS (they’ve got a lot of mail to open). Click here for more information on the situation.

If you mailed your tax payment or return and are worried about when it will be processed, or whether the IRS received it, keep this in mind:

  • Even without receipt proof, it’s very likely your payment or return is in the backlog. But if you’re unsure, don’t stop payment on your check, don’t file a second tax return or bother calling the IRS (it will just add to the backlog).
  • Ensure that funds continue to be available to cover your payment.
  • Check the status of your refund by using the Where’s My Refund? tool or by calling 800.829.1954.
  • Stand by. The IRS is estimating a month or more to work through their backlog.

Finally, the IRS encourages taxpayers to e-file and pay electronically, but if you must mail correspondence, documents, or payments to the IRS, do so via Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested and make a copy of your envelope before mailing.

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