IRS will stop sending overdue notices as it sorts through unopened mail

The Internal Revenue Service says it will suspend sending overdue tax payment notices as it works through millions of pieces of unopened mail.

The agency said it will hold off on mailing three notices (CP501, CP503, and CP504) that frequently go to taxpayers who have missed their payment deadline. The temporary adjustment is intended to eliminate confusion among taxpayers who have already sent checks that could still be unopened and unprocessed.

The IRS estimates that millions of unopened envelopes are being stored in portable trailers at IRS facilities nationwide, where they’ve accumulated since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Although the IRS continues to make significant reductions in the backlog of unopened mail that developed while most IRS operations were closed due to COVID-19, this temporary adjustment to processing is intended to lessen any possible confusion that might be associated with delays in processing correspondence received from taxpayers,” the IRS said in a statement. “The IRS will continue to assess the mail inventory to determine the appropriate time to resume the follow-up notices. However, taxpayers who have received but not yet responded to a CP14 [balance due] notice are encouraged to promptly respond.”

Payments will be posted and credited on the date the IRS received them instead of the date the agency opened and processed them. Taxpayers in this situation should not cancel their checks and should ensure funds continue to be available so the IRS can process them to avoid potential penalties and interest. The IRS is also providing relief from bad check penalties for dishonored checks the agency received between March 1 and July 15 due to delays in processing.

The agency warned that even though they will suspend automatic follow up notices, some notices may have already been mailed. Taxpayers should review any notices they receive. If a taxpayer confirms that the payment has not been processed by the IRS, the agency recommends he or she does not respond to the payment due notices.

If you do still owe the IRS, the agency recommends going to to make a payment electronically.

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