The Internal Revenue Service announced that have resumed processing Forms 8655 in a recent update for reporting agents. While the doors are open at the service center responsible for processing agent authorization forms, the agency cautions that they are “not at full staffing levels to allow social distancing.”
The update began by tempering expectations, laying out the challenges inherent in fully opening the IRS facilities: “We are slowly re-opening, but protecting IRS employees, taxpayers, and our stakeholders remains a top priority. Please continue to use all electronic options available to you on IRS.gov.”
While processing the faxes and other physical media associated with Form 8655 submissions may be slower than in previous years due to safety precautions, the IRS assured preparers that the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) is still handling employment tax returns and deposits.
Before you get your hopes up for getting your stack of Forms 8655 processed next week, the IRS reminds preparers that—out of necessity—it will be adopting a first-come-first-serve approach. After all, it still needs to deal with returns received before staff were sent home at the beginning of the pandemic response: “Paper-return processing is resuming with the backlog of returns for first quarter 2020 at the Ogden and Kansas City Campuses, which re-opened on June 8 and June 15, respectively.”
In addition to linking to its page detailing available online services, the IRS pointed readers to two coronavirus-announcement pages for similar updates:
Source: “Update for Reporting Agents”