Tax Tips Logo ImageISSUE:

Although in most cases, you cannot contact the IRS via email, they are working on some technologies…

 

 

SITUATION:

Marathon Bible College (MBC) is a private college exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) and 170(b)(1)(A)(ii).  They are required to file Form 990 annually.

“Are we still not able to send things to the IRS via email?” asked MBC’s Controller recently.

“That is correct in most cases, although we’ve heard of some IRS employees using email to communicate with constituents during this COVID-19 pandemic.  Even so, the IRS is employing some cool technologies lately.  First, we are awaiting the eFile version of Form 990-T.  Next, the IRS is testing out the use of “QR Codes” or Quick Response Codes to allow taxpayers to access data.”

“You mean those weird, patterned squares – kind of like scramble bar codes –  that you can scan with your phone?”

“That’s the ones.  With IRS News Release 2020-233, IRS has added QR code to notices of balance due sent to taxpayers to permit more direct access to IRS.gov and hopefully expedite resolution of unpaid taxes.  It should make tax things easier and more efficient.  Taxpayers can now use their smartphones to scan a QR code in a notice to go directly to IRS.gov and securely access their account, set up a payment plan or contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service.  And, although it is only for a limited number of taxpayers currently, the IRS is assessing the possibility of adding other QR codes to other notices.  Something to think about for the future.”

RULES:

From IRS News Release 2020-233 :

For the first time, the IRS is adding barcode technology to notices sent to millions of taxpayers.

Starting this month, the CP14 and CP14 IA notices that inform taxpayers that they owe money on unpaid taxes and their payment options are now equipped with QR bar codes to help those taxpayers securely and easily navigate to the IRS.gov website.

Taxpayers can now use their smartphones to scan a QR code in the CP14 or CP14 IA to go directly to IRS.gov and securely access their account, set up a payment plan or contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service.

Scanning the QR code on the CP14 or CP14 IA gives the taxpayer direct access to the information they need on IRS.gov to resolve their account balance online without the need to call or interact with the IRS directly.

“ These codes will give taxpayers immediate access to the most important information for them to pay their balances, set up payment agreements or reach out for help,” said Darren Guillot, the IRS Small Business/Self-Employed Deputy Commissioner for Collection and Operations Support. “ We understand there’s a lot of information on the web, and we want to give taxpayers more secure tools that can more easily help them resolve their tax situations.”

The IRS generally sends more than 8 million CP14 notices each year to taxpayers. They are the first legal notice alerting them that they have a balance due. Adding a QR code to the notice provides access to an up-front resolution for millions of taxpayers.

“ This will help make the entire process easier for taxpayers,” Guillot said.

The IRS is assessing the possibility of adding other QR codes to other balance due notices in the future.

BOTTOM LINE:

  • It has never really been easy to communicate efficiently with the IRS.
  • During the COVID-19 Pandemic, communication has become even slower and more challenging.
  • The IRS has been working on new technologies for several years.
  • QR Codes may be the “wave” of the future in IRS communicating – Film at 11!

Specific questions? Email Dave Moja

The information provided herein presents general information and should not be relied on as accounting, tax, or legal advice when analyzing and resolving a specific tax issue. If you have specific questions regarding a particular fact situation, please consult with competent accounting, tax, and/or legal counsel about the facts and laws that apply.

© 2020 Moja & Company, LLC