Sandy stops tax enforcement
We have just found out about this. There has been no press release and scant additional information. But it appears that FEMA has ordered that because of Hurricane Sandy, IRS collections (levies and liens) be shut down in affected areas.
The IRS website says this:
However, this is unconfirmed information, but we are being told that Revenue Officers and Examiners are told to stand down and not make contact or engage in collection or audit procedures if the taxpayer resides in one of the following counties:
- New Haven
- New London
- All counties
Why is it NOT a good idea to shut down the IRS?
The blanket prohibition against any exam or collections activity is overboard. While there is no doubt that certain areas are completely devastated, treating all counties the same — all as severely affected by the storm as say, Staten Island, does not do many people much good. Why?
First off, we have an inventory of our clients cases that we are ready to revolve. But neither we nor the Revenue Agent nor Revenue Officer assigned can take any action to close out the cases.
Second, the IRS is not going anywhere. So when the IRS restarts, they will have a vastly increased workload, and potentially a lack of patience.
Third, are we paying people to stand around and do nothing? Isn’t this frustrating for them too?
To put this storm into perspective
Our headquarters are located in Wallingford, Connecticut. One of the counties affected by Hurricane Sandy. Our office did not even lose power during the height of the storm. While some people on the shoreline did experience interruptions and severe damage, those were really related to coastal communities.
There seems to be a certain lack of discernment. And this will just make headaches for us, our clients, and the IRS once the engine starts chugging again.