The IRS is taking extraordinary steps to help taxpayers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Titled the “People First Initiative”, the IRS has announced immediate and sweeping changes to its compliance and collection programs.  These changes provide taxpayers facing IRS collection action with critical relief in a challenging economic environment. The IRS’ press release announcing the People First Initiative is available at the following link:

The People First Initiative provides key relief from the following:

  • Installment Agreements.  Taxpayers with existing Installment Agreements may voluntarily suspend payments due between April 1 and July 15, 2020.  Taxpayers able to continue making Installment Agreement payments are encouraged to do so and IRS will continue to process requests for new Installment Agreements.
  • Offers in Compromise.  IRS will continue to process Offers in Compromise but all deadlines to make payments or submit additional information have been extended to July 15, 2020.
  • Liens and Levies.  Enforced collection action such as liens and levies are largely suspended until July 15, 2020.
  • Passport Certifications to Start Department.  IRS will suspend new certifications of “seriously delinquent” tax debt to the U.S. State Department until July 15, 2020.
  • Audits.  The IRS will generally refrain from starting new audits prior to July 15, 2020.  The IRS will continue to work open audits.  In-person meetings between taxpayers and IRS personnel are suspended.  Ongoing audits will continue by correspondence and telephone communication.

The IRS remains open for business to perform its essential functions during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The IRS will continue to work with taxpayers through remote means to address tax liabilities, process claims for refund, conduct telephonic appeals conferences, and take other necessary action to protect the government’s interest.  The IRS will also take necessary steps to protect all applicable statutes of limitation. Additional information regarding the People First Initiative will be released by IRS as details are confirmed and the public health situation evolves.

The People First Initiative provides crucial relief to taxpayers in a period of economic and public health uncertainty. McLaughlinQuinn LLC remains open for business during this critical time and our tax attorneys remain committed to guiding clients through a rapidly changing legal landscape. McLaughlinQuinn LLC will continue to provide updates on the People First Initiative as well as other federal and state taxpayer relief programs as details become available.  For more information on this Client Alert and the People First Initiative, contact Thomas P. Quinn, Esq., Managing Partner, at (401) 421-5115 ext. 218 or Kathryn S. Windsor, Esq., Senior Tax Counsel, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .