Tax Professionals: IRS Considering Extending 2021 Tax Season

Last week, a client of mine who filed in late March (by paper because her return could not be electronically filed) finally received her refund. The return was processed in mid-November (per the IRS transcript). The IRS is doing its best with Covid, but they remain ridiculously behind. It’s certain the IRS will not process all timely paper-filed 2019 returns by the end of this year. Indeed, I saw that a Revenue Agent told a fellow E.A. that the IRS has “at least 2.5 million unopened pieces of mail.”

Another fellow Enrolled Agent attended (virtually) the IRS Stakeholder Liaison IMRS meeting last week. That’s a meeting where the Stakeholder Liaisons–IRS employees tasked with assisting tax professionals–track and respondsto significant national and local issues and concerns on IRS policies and procedures. During that call the IRS discussed extending the 2021 tax season by extending the filing deadlines for various 2020 tax returns.

The IRS has various concerns:

  1. 1099s and W-2s may be delayed.
  2. The IRS may not be caught up by the beginning of the 2021 Tax Season.
  3. A 2-week quarantine by an employee would be difficult to overcome.
  4. Many tax professionals will be working from home.
  5. Clients will expect less contact with tax professionals which likely will increase the time needed to prepare returns.

The IRS is requesting that tax professionals contact their local stakeholder liaison express their opinion.

I will be pondering this over the next week as I have both pro and con opinions regarding extending the 2021 Tax Season. And I still have two timely returns to get completed for the 2020 Tax Season (two individuals residing outside the United States who took second extensions)!


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