The Internal Revenue Service is easing pressure on taxpayers if the checks they mailed in for tax payments still haven’t been opened up yet and are sitting in the trailers the IRS had to set up for the COVID-19 pandemic.

This spring, as many IRS offices stayed closed, millions of pieces of unopened mail accumulated in trailers set up outside IRS buildings. As more IRS employees came back to work to deal with tax season, they began to go through the mail, but that hasn’t stopped more packages and letters from coming in every day.

Last week, while fielding complaints that the IRS had begun sending balance due notices to some taxpayers, even though they had already sent in checks with their tax filings for trusts and estates, the IRS updated its IRS.gov web page on IRS operations during COVID-19 with new information on pending check payments and payment notices, saying that the payments will be posted as of the date received, as opposed to the date when the IRS finally gets around to processing them. The IRS warned taxpayers not to cancel their checks, as the IRS will eventually get around to processing them.

The problem has been difficult for taxpayers who are filing Form 1041 estate and trust tax returns and receiving the balance due notices.

As well as being short-staffed for opening the mail, the IRS is also dealing with the ongoing problem of answering its busy phone lines for taxpayers, and it recommended visiting the IRS.gov website in lieu of calling the agency.

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