To protect taxpayers from scams, IRS orders immediate stop to new Employee Retention Credit claims processing
Moratorium on processing of new Employee Retention Credit claims through year’s end will allow IRS to add more safeguards to prevent future abuse, protect businesses from predatory tactics; IRS working with Justice Department to pursue fraud fueled by aggressive marketing.
WASHINGTON – Amid rising concerns about a flood of improper Employee Retention Credit claims, the Internal Revenue Service today announced an immediate moratorium through at least the end of the year on processing new claims for the pandemic-era relief program to protect honest small business owners from scams. IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel ordered the immediate moratorium, beginning today, to run through at least Dec. 31 following growing concerns inside the tax agency, from tax professionals as well as media reports that a substantial share of new claims from the aging program are ineligible. This increasingly is putting businesses at financial risk by being pressured and scammed by aggressive promoters and marketing. The IRS continues to work previously filed Employee Retention Credit (ERC) claims received prior to the moratorium but renewed a reminder that increased fraud concerns means processing times will be longer.
On July 26, the agency announced it was increasingly shifting its focus to review these claims for compliance concerns, including intensifying audit work and criminal investigations on promoters and businesses filing dubious claims. The IRS announced today that hundreds of criminal cases are being worked, and thousands of ERC claims have been referred for audit.
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This action by the IRS is long overdue. These scammers lure taxpayers with promises of fast money, an "easy application process" and lie about eligibility in exchange for sizeable fees. Unfortunately, unwitting taxpayers selected for audit will learn the time spent filing an ERC will pale in comparison to assembling documentation to substantiate eligibility for the claim.
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Mark is tax counsel for Per Diem Plus. With nearly two decades of experience advising trucking companies on per diem issues, Mark was responsible for defining the Per Diem Plus software logic rules that automatically calculates trucker per diem in accordance with IRS regulations. He also previously served as the consulting per diem tax expert for Omnitracs.
In addition to his time working with Per Diem Plus, Mark works in private practice as an Enrolled Agent at Mark Sullivan Consulting, PLLC specializing in federal tax controversy representation and consulting. He also served as the consulting and expert witness for the Federal Defenders Office and private defense counsel in financial crimes cases in multiple federal district courts. Contact Mark W. Sullivan, EA
Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and cannot be cited as precedent or relied upon in a tax dispute before the IRS.
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IRS Newswire Issue Number: IR-2023-169