IRS Issues Temporary Changes for Taxpayers

The backlog of mail at the IRS caused by the agency’s weeks-long closures at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted several temporary changes that affect taxpayers:

Late Payment Notices

  • The mailing of notices to taxpayers with balances due on their tax accounts will be temporarily suspended. Notices CP501, CP503 and CP504, which are follow-up notices to CP14, are being put on hold to avoid confusion for taxpayers whose payments are among the unopened mail inventory.
  • Payments of all CP14 balances are still due, even while the follow-up notices are suspended.
  • The IRS will continue to monitor its mail inventory to determine the appropriate time for the notices to resume.

Payment Processing

  • Payments caught in the backlog will be credited on the date of receipt by the IRS, not the date the payment was opened.
  • The IRS will not impose bad check penalties for dishonored checks that the agency received between March 1 and July 15.
  • If your payment is stuck in the IRS mail backlog, you may receive a follow-up notice that was sent prior to the implementation of this suspension. Do not cancel your original check, and ensure funds continue to be available to avoid penalties and interest when the IRS eventually processes the payment.

The IRS is discouraging inquiries about payment status during this time of high call volume.


Robert L. Tobey Robert L. Tobey, CPA is a Partner in the Tax Services practice at Grassi, where he guides clients through the complexities of tax planning and compliance on the federal, state and international levels. He specializes in helping pass-through entities, multi-state corporations, high-net-worth individuals and investors meet their business, tax savings and wealth preservation goals. Robert advises clients in a wide range of industries, with... Read full bio