The Internal Revenue Service has stopped processing paper tax returns, with much of its staff now working remotely because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, and is encouraging taxpayers to file their taxes electronically during the three-month extension period for this year’s tax season.
The IRS said Friday that to protect the public and its own employees, and in compliance with orders of local health authorities across the U.S., some IRS services such as live assistance on telephones, processing paper tax returns and responding to correspondence are extremely limited or suspended until further notice. All of the IRS’s in-person Taxpayer Assistance Centers are temporarily closed along with many volunteer tax preparation sites until further notice. However, that won’t affect the IRS’s ability to deliver “economic impact payments,” the stimulus payments of at least $1,2000 that it began directly depositing Saturday in some taxpayers’ bank accounts.
However, regarding already filed paper returns the IRS says: “If you already have filed via paper but it has not yet been processed, do not file a second tax return or write to the IRS to inquire about the status of your return or your economic impact payment … Paper returns will be processed once processing centers are able to reopen.”
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