Bloomberg Tax
April 9, 2020, 10:49 PM

IRS Not Processing Paper Returns, Urges Electronic Filing

Allyson Versprille
Allyson Versprille

The Internal Revenue Service is urging individuals to file their tax returns electronically because it currently can’t process paper returns after shutting down all of its processing centers to protect employees from the coronavirus.

Using electronic options will help speed the processing of tax returns, refunds, and payments, the agency said Thursday in a news release. The announcement comes after the IRS closed its last major campus earlier this week to comply with stay-at-home orders in effect across the country.

  • The IRS is using information on returns filed this year to determine who is eligible for a direct payment under a recent coronavirus relief law and how much they should receive. If the agency doesn’t have a taxpayer’s most recent return, it will use information on the return filed last year.
  • The IRS will begin delivering the stimulus payments next week, it said in the news release.
  • Already more than 90% of taxpayers were expected to file electronically this year.
  • The IRS asked taxpayers not to file a second return or write to the agency to inquire about the status of their stimulus payment or their return if they have already filed by paper and are still waiting for the return to be processed. “Paper returns will be processed once processing centers are able to reopen,” the agency said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Allyson Versprille in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Patrick Ambrosio at; Kathy Larsen at