You know when you go on vacation or are over the road for extended periods, and you come home, and the mailbox is SO full you can barely open it. Well, with the global pandemic going on with COVID -19, the IRS has tons of mail. No, they weren’t on vacation, but due to the pandemic, there have been offices closed down and fewer agents available. The IRS mailboxes were so full they have trailers full of mail. If you mailed in a tax return, payment, or responded to an IRS notices within the last five months you might now be thinking is “my mail in that trailer?” The answer is maybe, and it is possible that what you have sent them has not been processed.

What to do if you mailed the IRS a payment?

The IRS is requesting taxpayers NOT to stop payments or cancel their checks. If you mailed a check into the IRS, make sure you have enough to cover the funds for the check you wrote until they have processed your payment.

What to do if you receive an IRS notice in the mail?

If you received an IRS notice in the mail with a balance due and you know that you mailed a payment in for the balance, check your bank account and see if the check has cleared. If your check has not, then the IRS most likely has not yet processed your payment.

Should I call the IRS regarding my tax notice?

It depends. If the IRS notice you received does not make sense because it’s asking for you to file a tax return that you mailed in three months ago, there is a good chance they have not processed the return; calling an agent who will not show a record of the return in their system could just be a waste of time. The same goes for tax payments. If you are unsure how to respond to an IRS notice, please call and send a copy of your notice to our friendly Abacus CPAs customer service specialists, and we will be happy to assist you.

If you owe the IRS and have not yet received a balance due letter?

The IRS has decided to suspend sending IRS notices to certain taxpayers if there is uncertainty that the notice will be inaccurate due to the mail backlog. To reduce interest and penalties you can make payments online to the IRS and set up payment plans.

How should I send in payments to the IRS?

The IRS is recommending all taxpayers to take advantage of their online options, including payment options. If you pay online, you will know when the amount will be withdrawn, and you have a clear record of the payments you submitted. See the resources listed below.

What if I have mailed in a paper filed return or need to?

All paper-filed returns are also taking longer to process, as many still unopened. The IRS is processing them in the order they received them. If you need to amend an individual 2019 tax return, the IRS has now made it available that you can electronically file.

To avoid delays, it is recommended to use online options when applicable. There are many resources the IRS has available to individual taxpayers. Here is a list of some resources you may find helpful.


Betsy Dyer EA is a Consultant at Abacus CPAs, LLC in the Transportation Department.  Betsy specializes in preparing and reviewing tax returns for our clients who are self-employed individuals in the transportation industry. She is passionate about helping people make smarter decisions through the guidance and experience she has received over the years of working with professional CPAs.

Learn more about Betsy >