On October 14, 2020, the IRS announced its plans to end the temporary fax procedures, established in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, to efficiently process tentative refund claims, Forms 1139 and 1045. The IRS updated the procedures with the addition of FAQ 21, which sets December 31, 2020, as the last day that the submissions of Forms 1139 and 1045 will be accepted via fax. Please see our prior alert that covered the procedural guidance for tentative carryback claims when the faxed submission procedures were initially released.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), enacted March 27, 2020, established a five-year NOL carryback period and temporarily repealed the 80% limitation on losses incurred in tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017 and before Jan.1, 2021. NOL carrybacks were previously repealed for these tax years under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”).
Through midnight EST on December 31, 2020, taxpayers and tax professionals may continue to fax Forms 1139 to 844-249-6236. Eligible Forms 1045 may be faxed to 844-249-6237. These fax numbers will not be operational after December 31st and the IRS has clarified that the fax submission deadline has no impact on filing due dates. For example, the December 30, 2020 deadline to file a Form 1139 claiming the 100% refundable minimum tax credit is not affected by this updated guidance. Furthermore, a Form 1139 reporting both an NOL carryback and a 100% refundable minimum tax credit must still be filed by the earliest applicable deadline.
The termination of fax submission procedures will not change how the claims for refund are processed and IRS will still have 90 days to process tentative refund claims.
Furthermore, the IRS has made strides working through the volumes of unopened mail that were exacerbated during the months when IRS operations were shuttered. On October 13, the IRS issued a status update on IRS operations which cited progress in IRS efforts working through unopened mail. At end of June, an estimated 12.3 million pieces of mail remained unopened. Estimates reported in early October describe a backlog reduced to 5.3 million pieces of unopened mail. This reduction suggests that the considerable backlog may be eliminated by the time the fax submission procedures are terminated
If you have any questions about this announcement, please contact the authors or any member of RSM WNT Tax Controversy Team.