June 12, 2020

Amended Tax Returns Now Eligible for E-Filing

peter alizio calendar icon at 3:58 PM


Taxpayers will soon be able to file amended tax returns electronically

For the first time, taxpayers will now be able to file a Form 1040-X, Amended U.S Individual Income Tax Return electronically.  Making this form electronically fileable has been a long-time goal for the IRS. It will greatly benefit the tax professional community and taxpayers.

The new electronic option will allow the IRS to receive amended returns faster while minimizing errors normally associated with manually completing the form. It will also provide the IRS with more complete and accurate data to help customer service representatives answer taxpayer questions.

When the electronic filing option becomes available, taxpayers will only be able to amend tax year 2019 Forms 1040 and 1040-SR returns electronically. In general, taxpayers will still have the option to submit a paper version of the Form 1040-X and should follow the instructions for preparing and submitting the paper form.

Whether an amended return is filed electronically or manually, taxpayers can still use the “Where’s My Amended Return?” online tool to check the status of their amended return. 

If you discovered you made a tax return mistake will you be required to amend an incorrect tax return? If you need assistance with a tax compliance issue, contact Long Island Tax Attorney Peter Alizio for a complimentary consultation.   

May 19, 2020

Long Island Professionals (Meetup Group)

peter alizio calendar icon at 7:36 AM

Peter Alizio a tax attorney at Alizio Law, PLLC has taken over the reins of Long Island Professionals a meetup group with 3,000+ members. The meetup group will continue to meet for networking over cocktails the last Thursday of every month (once safe to do so).

Long Island Professional members will be encouraged to guest post on our new website longislandbusiness.info to share their knowledge and expertise.

We are looking for posts in the following categories:

  • Marketing
  • Small Business
  • Causes, Non-Profits, & Charities
  • Tax & Finance
  • Technology
  • Human Resources

Please email any questions or comments to Peter Alizio.

Long Island Professionals Meetup Group

May 10, 2020

Back to Business (Normal Hours)

peter alizio calendar icon at 6:43 AM

We are Open for Business

Alizio Law, PLLC is back to regular business hours utilizing virtual meetings and phone consultations.

Monday        | 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday        | 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday     | 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday         | 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday             | 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Phone: (212) 520-2906
Website: aliziolaw.com

May 6, 2020

IRS Virtual Settlement Days

peter alizio calendar icon at 8:59 PM

IRS allows unrepresented taxpayers to settle tax court cases virtually! 

The Internal Revenue Service Office of Chief Counsel announced the Settlement Days program will continue remotely enabling unrepresented taxpayers to work towards resolving their pending United States Tax Court case despite "stay-at-home" orders in many jurisdictions.  The first two events are for docketed cases with a place of trial in Detroit or Atlanta.  Future events may be scheduled in other cities throughout the United States.

Virtual Settlement Days is a coordinated effort to resolve Tax Court cases by giving taxpayers not represented by counsel the opportunity to receive free tax advice and possible representation from Low-Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) or another pro bono organizations. Taxpayers can discuss their Tax Court case and federal tax issues with members of the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, Appeals and Collections.

The program is geared to help unrepresented taxpayers receive free assistance in discussing a potential fair settlement of their tax disputes in an informal setting without the need for further litigation or a trial in Tax Court. The vast majority of taxpayers participating in previous Settlement Days programs have resolved their cases; most of those who ended up with a liability have been able to enter into an installment payment arrangement.

The Tax Court canceled scheduled trial sessions in a series of Orders issued on March 11, 13 and 23, 2020.  The Tax Court Orders state that it is expected that parties will continue to work together to exchange information and address pending issues. The Settlement Days events accomplish the Tax Court’s goals by allowing the parties to work towards settling case on a remote basis. 

Chief Counsel has scheduled Virtual Settlement Days events for May 2020 for cases docketed on the Detroit and Atlanta Tax Court trial sessions. Chief Counsel has invited more than 100 unrepresented taxpayers to meet with Chief Counsel attorneys or paralegals via WebEx for the two events. The taxpayers will be able to speak with LITC representatives prior to the WebEx meetings. If the taxpayer desires, the LITC representatives will later join the WebEx meetings.

The Detroit Office of Chief Counsel will host its event on Saturday, May 9, in conjunction with the University of Michigan Law School LITC for the Detroit trial session cases. The IRS has invited over 100 Tax Court petitioners.  The cases being selected are from recently canceled Tax Court calendars, as well as other docketed cases not yet set for trial. The event may be extended, if needed, to meet taxpayer’s needs. 

The Atlanta Office of Chief Counsel will host the second event on Thursday, May 21, in conjunction with the North Georgia Low Income Taxpayer Clinic for the canceled Atlanta trial session cases and other docketed cases. The event may extend over several days to accommodate the schedules of the participants. The IRS will focus on inviting unrepresented taxpayers whose cases sessions have been delayed due to Tax Court cancellations.

While docket taxpayers with cases currently under consideration by the IRS Independent Office of Appeals have not been sent invitations to the Detroit and Atlanta events, the IRS encourages those petitioners to contact the Appeals Officer assigned to their case to discuss a resolution. Appeals continue to work cases, including use of virtual conferences. For unrepresented taxpayers who are working with an Appeals Officer and receive an invitation to the event, the IRS will work with them at the event to resolve all their issues.

In addition, IRS Chief Counsel recently prepared a Virtual Settlement Days Best Practice Guide for external use that will be released in advance of the Virtual Settlement Days events. Chief Counsel anticipates that Virtual Settlement Days will be a mainstay of its Settlement Day efforts even after this crisis is over. Chief Counsel released an initial Settlement Days Best Practices Guide in January 2020, which outlined a remote model for the program.

March 30, 2020

IRS During the Coronavirus (People First Initiative)

peter alizio calendar icon at 5:25 PM
On March 25, 2020 the IRS announced the People First Initiative a sweeping series of steps to assist taxpayers by providing relief on a variety of issues ranging from easing payment guidelines to postponing compliance actions. The People First Initiative was designed to provide relief to taxpayers during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
The Highlights of the People First Initiative: 
Existing Installment Agreements –For taxpayers under an existing Installment Agreement, payments due between April 1 and July 15, 2020 are suspended. Taxpayers who are currently unable to comply with the terms of an Installment Payment Agreement, including a Direct Debit Installment Agreement, may suspend payments during this period if they prefer. Furthermore, the IRS will not default any Installment Agreements during this period. By law, interest will continue to accrue on any unpaid balances.
New Installment Agreements – The IRS reminds people unable to fully pay their federal taxes that they can resolve outstanding liabilities by entering into a monthly payment agreement with the IRS. See IRS.gov for further information.
Offers in Compromise (OIC) – The IRS is taking several steps to assist taxpayers in various stages of the OIC process:
  • Pending OIC applications – The IRS will allow taxpayers until July 15 to provide requested additional information to support a pending OIC. In addition, the IRS will not close any pending OIC request before July 15, 2020, without the taxpayer's consent.
  • OIC Payments – Taxpayers have the option of suspending all payments on accepted OICs until July 15, 2020, although by law interest will continue to accrue on any unpaid balances.
  • Delinquent Return Filings - The IRS will not default an OIC for those taxpayers who are delinquent in filing their tax return for tax year 2018. However, taxpayers should file any delinquent 2018 return (and their 2019 return) on or before July 15, 2020.
  • New OIC Applications – The IRS reminds people facing a liability exceeding their net worth that the OIC process is designed to resolve outstanding tax liabilities by providing a "Fresh Start." Further information is available at IRS.gov
  • In-Person Meetings - In-person meetings regarding current field, office and correspondence examinations will be suspended. Even though IRS examiners will not hold in-person meetings, they will continue their examinations remotely, where possible. To facilitate the progress of open examinations, taxpayers are encouraged to respond to any requests for information they already have received - or may receive - on all examination activity during this period if they are able to do so.
  • Unique Situations - Particularly for some corporate and business taxpayers, the IRS understands that there may be instances where the taxpayers desire to begin an examination while people and records are available and respective staffs have capacity. In those instances when it's in the best interest of both parties and appropriate personnel are available, the IRS may initiate activities to move forward with an examination -- understanding that COVID-19 developments could later reduce activities for an agreed period.
  • General Requests for Information - In addition to compliance activities and examinations, the IRS encourages taxpayers to respond to any other IRS correspondence requesting additional information during this time if possible.  
Non-Filers –The IRS reminds people who have not filed their return for tax years before 2019 that they should file their delinquent returns. More than 1 million households that haven't filed tax returns during the last three years are actually owed refunds; they still have time to claim these refunds. Many should consider contacting a tax professional to consider various available options since the time to receive such refunds is limited by statute. Once delinquent returns have been filed, taxpayers with a tax liability should consider taking the opportunity to resolve any outstanding liabilities by entering into an Installment Agreement or an Offer in Compromise with the IRS to obtain a "Fresh Start." See IRS.gov for further information.
Field Collection Activities - Liens and levies (including any seizures of a personal residence) initiated by field revenue officers will be suspended during this period. However, field revenue officers will continue to pursue high-income non-filers and perform other similar activities where warranted.
Automated Liens and Levies – New automatic, systemic liens and levies will be suspended during this period.
Passport Certifications to the State Department – IRS will suspend new certifications to the Department of State for taxpayers who are "seriously delinquent" during this period. These taxpayers are encouraged to submit a request for an Installment Agreement or, if applicable, an OIC during this period. Certification prevents taxpayers from receiving or renewing passports.
Private Debt Collection – New delinquent accounts will not be forwarded by the IRS to private collection agencies to work during this period.
Field, Office and Correspondence Audits – During this period, the IRS will generally not start new field, office and correspondence examinations. We will continue to work refund claims where possible, without in-person contact. However, the IRS may start new examinations where deemed necessary to protect the government's interest in preserving the applicable statute of limitations.
Earned Income Tax Credit and Wage Verification Reviews – Taxpayers have until July 15, 2020, to respond to the IRS to verify that they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit or to verify their income. These taxpayers are encouraged to exercise their best efforts to obtain and submit all requested information, and if unable to do so, please reach out to the IRS indicating the reason such information is not available. Until July 15, 2020, the IRS will not deny these credits for a failure to provide requested information.
Independent Office of Appeals – Appeals employees will continue to work their cases. Although Appeals is not currently holding in-person conferences with taxpayers, conferences may be held over the telephone or by videoconference. Taxpayers are encouraged to promptly respond to any outstanding requests for information for all cases in the Independent Office of Appeals.
Statute of Limitations - The IRS will continue to take steps where necessary to protect all applicable statutes of limitations. In instances where statute expirations might be jeopardized during this period, taxpayers are encouraged to cooperate in extending such statutes. Otherwise, the IRS will issue Notices of Deficiency and pursue other similar actions to protect the interests of the government in preserving such statutes. Where a statutory period is not set to expire during 2020, the IRS is unlikely to pursue the foregoing actions until at least July 15, 2020.
Practitioner Priority Service – Practitioners are reminded that, depending on staffing levels and allocations going forward, there may be more significant wait times for the PPS. The IRS will continue to monitor this as situations develop.