Depending on whether the IRS has begun delinquent return enforcement proceedings, late-filed tax returns may be subject to special processing. This special processing may take the form of delinquent return investigation, filing a substitute for return for the taxpayer, or collection or audit activity on the unfiled year.
How to check your IRS account transactions
You can check your IRS account transactions for return acceptance, but only on the condition that the IRS hasn’t had any previous enforcement activity. If there has been enforcement activity, a transaction code “150” will appear on the transcript.
Taxpayers who file a past-due return for which the IRS has delinquent return activity (such as filing a tax return for the taxpayer, a “substitute for return”) must keep track of whether their return is accepted. If the IRS has unpaid assessments from previously enforced non-filing, these taxpayers must frequently manage IRS Collection enforcement.
You will need to call the IRS to monitor acceptance and manage enforcement activity.
Hotlines for Status Updates from the IRS
IRS phone hotlines connect you with IRS representatives who can go over the specifics of your case and status with you. However, it is critical to contact the correct IRS official. Also, because IRS wait times are typically very long, getting through to a live IRS representative can be difficult (hint: call early in the day). The IRS is severely understaffed these days, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is not helping.
To check on the status of their client, tax professionals can call a special hotline called the Practitioner Priority Service (PPS). If the tax professional calls early, PPS has short hold times. However, due to PPS’s limitations, the call may need to be forwarded to another IRS unit. PPS is only able to assist with account-related issues (amended tax returns, receipt of penalty abatement requests, etc.). If the taxpayer is facing IRS enforcement issues (examination, CP2000, or collection), the tax professional must contact the enforcement unit directly (or be transferred by PPS).
Taxpayers can usually reach out to the number listed on their most recent notice. If the taxpayer has not previously complied with the law, he or she should contact the appropriate accounts hotline. The taxpayer must contact the appropriate IRS function if there is current or prior compliance activity.
Here is a list of common numbers:
|No prior compliance activity: Individual accounts||(800) 829-1040||For taxpayers (tax pros use PPS) M-F, 7 AM-7 PM, local time|
|No prior compliance activity: Business and Specialty accounts||(800) 829-4933||For taxpayers (tax pros use PPS) M-F, 7 AM-7 PM, local time|
|Taxpayer in Automated Collection: Individuals||(800) 829-7650 (W&I)||M-F, 8 AM-8 PM, local time|
|Taxpayer in Automated Collection: Self-employed and businesses||(800) 829-3903 (SB/SE)||M-F, 8 AM-8 PM, local time|
|Taxpayer in/has prior SFR activity: Automated Substitute for Return (ASFR) unit||(866) 681-4271||M-F, 8 AM-8 PM, local time|
When should you call for an update on your status?
If there will be a delay of more than 30 days, most IRS procedures require that the taxpayer be contacted. The IRS, on the other hand, frequently fails to keep the taxpayer up to date. To ensure that their case is progressing, taxpayers and tax professionals should contact the IRS once a month.
IRS notices and transcripts can also be used to figure out where a case stands. However, keep in mind that transcripts typically only show account adjustments and the receipt of certain taxpayer filings. As a result, transcripts aren’t reliable indicators of a taxpayer’s actions and status. It’s best to speak with the IRS directly to get the full picture.
Speak with an experienced tax attorney if you need help or advice