IRS provides additional information on Early Contact Program

The IRS has provided additional information on the early contact program for payroll tax problems that was previously announced. According to the IRS, the Early Interaction Initiative will accelerate and enhance the current Federal Tax Deposit Alerts (FTD Alerts) program under which collection field staff are assigned to cases when the IRS’s records indicated that an employer’s payroll tax deposits have declined.

Under the new initiative, many such employers will receive a letter asking the employer to contact the IRS about the decline in payroll tax deposits. In addition the letter will remind employers of their payroll tax responsibilities, advise them of the consequences of not complying with those responsibilities and provide assistance to help them comply. Other FTD Alerts will be assigned to field collection staff with priority given to cases where the employer has preexisting delinquencies.

The IRS is currently adjusting its systems to get FTD Alerts to field staff more quickly in order to address potential problems sooner and avoid pyramiding tax liabilities, interest and penalties. Employers who need information on how to comply with their payroll tax responsibilities can search IRS.gov using the phrase “employment tax,” or download IRS Publication 15, Employer’s Tax Guide. (http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/IRS-Collection-Launches-Early-Interaction-Initiative.)

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