December 2020

A Time for Reflection

In 2019 one expected the year 2020 to live up to the phrase alluding to clarity of sight. Alas a virus of another sort got in our eyes and clouded our vision. A virus that distorted our view of reality. The poison that emanated from the minds of those who chose to divide us for their own political and ideological gains, turned citizens against each other in a manner that has prolonged social and economic discord.

The year 2021 should prove to be a transition year as COVID-19 goes the way of polio, TB and other scourges in human history. While some industries may never fully return due to the meteoric rise of all things internet, some activities such as travelling should return by 2022. Some things just cannot be replaced by a computer or TV screen. Patrons will return to restaurants, travellers will fly and take cruises.

cruise ship

COVID-19 Related IRS Issues

The IRS is currently having problems processing payments made by 2019 taxpayers, and as a consequence has sent out collection notices in error. Those errors include applying timely-made tax payments to the wrong year and then sending computer-generated collection notices for the year that should have been credited with the payment.

Another source of confusion relates to the announcement that taxpayers did not have to adhere to the April 15, 2020 tax payment deadline, as the due date was moved to July 15, 2020. Some taxpayers who followed this advice subsequently received IRS late payment notices of balances due.

The Post Office has gone through its own hell for 2020 not of its own fault, due to the arbitrary dismantling of some of its delivery infrastructure by the current Administration. But that may have contributed to the woes at the IRS. Some taxpayers have not received notices in a timely manner or not received them at all, getting only a final notice warning by way of a CP504 notice of a levy intent on assets. If you do get such a notice contact your tax professional right away. Your tax person may make an early morning call to the Practitioner Priority Service line to resolve the issue at no cost if he or she prepared the return in question and does not have to file a Power of Attorney. If it turns out to be a time-consuming procedure you may be charged for that professional’s time.

IRS warns people about a COVID-related text message scam

Taxpayers are receiving text messages regarding direct deposit of the Economic Impact Payment related to COVID-19. DO NOT click or tap on any links in the message, no matter how official-looking the message may appear to be. The goal of the sender is to trick you into revealing personal information including your bank account.

If you do get such a text message on your phone, the IRS recommends that you take a screenshot and include the screenshot in an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the following information:

  • Date/time/time zone in which the message was received
  • The phone number that received the text message

The IRS communicates with you by mail.