Here you'll find items of current interest — new programs, recent guidance or timely reminders.
Coronavirus Tax Relief
Economic Impact Payments
U.S. citizens, permanent residents or qualifying resident aliens, taxpayers not dependent of another taxpayer and people with a work eligible Social Security number may be eligible for an Economic Impact Payment (EIP). Even if you don't normally file taxes or are experiencing homelessness you may still qualify for a Payment. Taxpayers may also get an additional $500 for each qualifying child. To get this $1,200 payment, taxpayers should sign up at IRS.gov by October 15, 2020.
Visit our Coronavirus and Economic Impact Payments: Resources and Guidance page for our latest content including:
- News Releases
- Tax Tips
- IRS Statements
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Fact Sheets
- Partner Materials and Public Service Announcements in both English and Spanish
- IRS Guidance
- Ready-to-Use Articles
For up-to-date status on affected IRS operations and services.
Tax law changes have extended or changed many expiring tax law provisions, including:
- Treatment of mortgage insurance premiums as qualified residence interest
- Reduction in medical expense deduction floor
- Deduction of qualified tuition and related expenses
- Energy efficient homes credit
- Employer credit for paid family and medical leave
- Work opportunity credit
- Special rule for determining earned income
- Repeal of maximum age for traditional IRA contributions
- Increase in age for required beginning date for mandatory distributions
- Expansion of section 529 plans
For a complete list of affected tax law provisions see the Joint Committee on Taxation List of Expiring Tax Provisions 2020.
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IRS Free File
Most taxpayers can file their federal tax returns through IRS Free File – featuring brand-name online tax providers − at IRS.gov/freefile for the 2020 tax filing season.
Taxpayers whose adjusted gross income was $69,000 or less in 2019 – covering most people – can do their taxes now using a e Free File provider.
Taxpayer First Act
On July 1, 2019, The Taxpayer First Act of 2019 was signed into law, which aims to broadly redesign the Internal Revenue Service. Generally, the legislation aims to expand and strengthen taxpayer rights and to reform the IRS into a more taxpayer friendly agency by requiring it to develop a comprehensive customer service strategy, modernize its technology and enhance its cyber security.
See the Taxpayer First Act page for the latest updates.
The IRS is working on implementing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This new law includes major tax legislation that will affect both individuals and businesses. Check the Tax Reform page for the latest updates.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed the way tax is calculated. The IRS encourages taxpayers to perform a quick “paycheck checkup” by using the Withholding Estimator to check if they have the right amount of withholding for their personal situation.
Consumer Alerts on Tax Scams
Note that the IRS will never:
Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail you a bill if you owe any taxes.
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
Is it Really the IRS Calling?
The IRS wants you to understand how and when we contact taxpayers and help you determine whether a contact you may have received is truly from an IRS employee.
The IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail delivered by the United States Postal Service.
However, there are special circumstances in which the IRS will call or come to a home or business, such as when a taxpayer has an overdue tax bill, to secure a delinquent tax return or a delinquent employment tax payment, or to tour a business as part of an audit or during criminal investigations.
See Avoid scams: Know the facts on how the IRS contacts taxpayers for more information.
Private Debt Collection
The IRS began a new private collection program of certain overdue federal tax debts selecting four contractors to implement it. The groups are: CBE Group of Cedar Falls, Iowa; Conserve of Fairport, N.Y.; Performant of Livermore, Calif.; and Pioneer of Horseheads, N.Y. The taxpayer’s account will only be assigned to one of these agencies, never to all four. No other private group is authorized to represent the IRS.
The IRS will always notify a taxpayer before transferring their account to a private collection agency (PCA). The IRS will send a letter to the taxpayer and their tax representative informing them that their account is being assigned to a PCA and giving the name and contact information for the PCA. This mailing will include a copy of Publication 4518, What You Can Expect When the IRS Assigns Your Account to a Private Collection Agency (PDF).
Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)
FATCA refers to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act that requires reporting on specified foreign accounts by U.S. taxpayers and foreign financial institutions. In general, federal law requires U.S. citizens to report worldwide income, including income from foreign trusts and foreign bank and securities accounts.