Some mail being sent to the IRS is being returned to taxpayers as undeliverable because of office closures, according to tax practitioners and a government taxpayer advocate.
The returns are more common when the mail is sent to smaller IRS offices, Bridget Roberts, the deputy national taxpayer advocate at the Taxpayer Advocate Service, said Thursday. The organization is an independent arm of the IRS designed to help taxpayers resolve disputes with the agency.
“If that happens, keep those envelopes to prove that you mailed that information to the IRS timely,” Roberts said on a webcast hosted by the American Bar Association.
Earlier this week the IRS shut down its campus in Ogden, Utah, with only employees performing “mission-critical” work continuing to report to work. It was the last major IRS facility to close.
Mail that isn’t returned is generally being held at the IRS or by the U.S. Postal Service, Roberts said.
Lisa Hernandez, an accountant at Baffone & Associates LLC in Wilmington, Del., has clients who recently had mail returned or held by the Postal Service in a situation where the person used certified mail—a USPS service that provides the sender with a mailing receipt and electronic verification that an item was delivered or that a delivery attempt was made. The Postal Service said it would deliver the mail when the IRS facilities reopen, Hernandez said.
Roberts said faxing might be a better way to reach the agency. And because the Taxpayer Advocate Service isn’t getting mail at this time, people should call or fax their local advocate office instead of using mail.