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More Guidance on CARES Act Refund Claims

On April 8, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a statement telling taxpayers that guidance would be forthcoming on refund claims related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or the CARES Act. Consistent with that promise, on April 13, 2020, the IRS issued guidance describing temporary procedures permitting the submission via fax of Form 1139, Corporation Application for Tentative Refund, and Form 1045, Application for Tentative Refund. For our prior discussion of CARES Act refund guidance issued by the IRS, see here.

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IRS Postpones Virtually All Deadlines Until July 15, 2020, in Response to COVID-19

In Notice 2020-23, the Internal Revenue Service further expanded relief for taxpayers in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Individuals, corporations, trusts, estates and other taxpayers that ordinarily would have had a filing, payment or other deadline between April 1, 2020, and July 15, 2020, now qualify for an extension.

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CARES Act Refund Claim Guidance

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, provides tax relief to taxpayers in certain situations. Some of these provisions may generate refunds for prior years, such as the relaxation of restrictions on the use of net operating losses (NOLs) and interest deductions as well as the retroactive availability of additional depreciation related to qualified improvement property. For our prior discussions of these, and other CARES Act provisions, see here.

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IRS to Temporarily Adjust Operations and Key Compliance Functions

On March 25, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced a new People First Initiative designed to provide relief to taxpayers on a variety of issues ranging from easing payment guidelines to postponing compliance actions in light of the challenges caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The initiative’s projected start date is April 1, 2020, and it is planned to continue through at least July 15, 2020. During this period, the IRS will avoid in-person contacts as much as possible while focusing on taking the steps necessary to protect all applicable statutes of limitation.

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US Tax Court Cancels Remainder of Spring Trial Sessions

After cancelling several trial sessions for March 2020 and April 2020, and closing its building until further notice, the US Tax Court (Tax Court) has announced that the remainder of its trial sessions through the end of June 2020 have been cancelled as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The cancelled trial sessions will be rescheduled at a later date. Although the Tax Court’s building is closed, the court remains operational:

Tax Court personnel are working remotely. The eAccess and eFiling systems remain operational and the Court will continue to process items received electronically, serve orders and opinions, enter and serve decisions, work with litigants, and receive telephone calls.

Practice Point: Much like prior government shutdowns, the cancellation of a large number of trial sessions stemming from COVID-19 is a major disruption for the Tax Court, taxpayers and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Those taxpayers whose cases have been delayed should continue to work with IRS Chief Counsel attorneys to try and resolve their cases without the need for trial.




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