When will the IRS start processing CAF requests?
The Internal Revenue Service last Thursday announced that it is beginning to process Centralized Authorization File requests, like Forms 2848 and 8821. This comes two weeks after the IRS issued an update for reporting agents saying they have resumed processing Forms 8655, signaling that the IRS is trying to address its substantial workload in the looming shadow of the July 15 deadline.
As previously noted on Taxing Subjects, CAF was suspended in April alongside a number of other services to prevent IRS employees from contracting COVID-19. While the coronavirus has not gone away, the IRS said it is taking steps to safely address its backlog and start processing new requests. Social distancing is one of the methods being used at their facilities: “CAF units at Memphis and Ogden are currently operational but are operating with limited staffing.”
How can tax preparers help CAF processing go faster?
Having fewer employees on site to process power-of-attorney and tax-information-authorization requests could mean longer wait times than normal, which would be worse if there are issues with submissions. That’s why the IRS is asking preparers to help reduce duplicate-form delays by double checking documents before faxing them—and, of course, only sending one fax.
“Duplicate requests (sending the same request for access to a taxpayer’s account more than once) put a strain on operations,” the IRS explained. “Sending in duplicate Forms 2848 (Power of Attorney), and 8821 (Tax Information Authorization), results in processing delays, as all requests must be researched and reviewed.”
Source: IRS e-News for Tax Professionals 2020-26