• Home
  • |
  • Blog
  • |
  • IRS Temporarily Suspends Most Collections

March 26, 2020

IRS Launches the "People First Initiative"

Suspension of Installment Payments during COVID-19

The Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service announced recently that the IRS would suspend most enforced collection activity during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“In addition to extending tax deadlines and working on new legislation, the IRS is pursuing unprecedented actions to ease the burden on people facing tax issues.”

– IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig (March 25, 2020)

What we know so far


Relaxed Enforcement to Help Taxpayers

  • Taxpayers in an Installment Agreement do not have to make payments from April 1st through July 15, 2020.
  • IRS will not default any Installment Agreements for failure to make payments during this period.
  • Taxpayers not already in an Installment Agreement are encouraged to enter into one.
  • Extension of time to submit supporting documents for an Offer in Compromise and suspension of OIC payments through July 15, 2020.
  • IRS continues to accept new Offer in Compromise applications.
  • Suspension of automated Liens and Levies during the pandemic.
  • Suspension of most field collections by Revenue Officers.
  • Suspension of certifying delinquent tax accounts to the State Department to block passport renewals.
  • Suspension of unpaid tax debt referrals to private collection agencies.
  • Suspension of new Correspondence, Office, and Field Audits.

Continued Enforcement

  • Revenue Officers will continue to pursue "high income non-filers" and "other similar activities where warranted." 
  • Despite suspending most new audits, the IRS may still initiate an audit if needed to prevent the expiration of a statute of limitations.


The IRS is stopping most new enforcement activity and giving a break to taxpayers who are currently in an installment agreement. As with most IRS programs, the devil is in the details. We will share more information as the IRS releases it.

About the author 

Benjamin D. Cramer

Ben Cramer is a tax attorney and founder of Cramer Legal, LLC. He lives in Cincinnati, Ohio and represents individuals and businesses throughout Ohio and the United States in tax disputes, tax planning, and business law.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Register for our free email newsletter