IRS closes Practitioner Priority Service and e-Services Help Desk due to coronavirus

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The Internal Revenue Service said Friday that it is shutting down its Practitioner Priority Service line, the e-Services Help Desk, as well as the e-Services FIRE and AIR system help desks, until further notice, due to staff limitations amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The move comes on the heels of the IRS closing its in-person Taxpayer Assistance Centers and discontinuing its face-to-face assistance around the country amid the widening COV-19 pandemic. Many IRS employees are working remotely now to avoid contracting the deadly disease.

The IRS recommended in an email to tax professionals Friday that practitioners make their first option for answers to their questions.

In addition, the IRS said it is temporarily suspending acceptance of new Income Verification Express Services (IVES) requests at this time, as it is experiencing delays with existing IVES processing as well as Centralized Authorization (CAF) number authorizations.

Practitioners with e-Services accounts and with client authorization are still able to access the Transcript Delivery System to obtain prior-year transcripts. Taxpayers should continue to use the "Where’s My Refund?" and "Get Transcript" apps for both common requests.

However, the IRS noted that it’s unable to answer any questions yet on stimulus payments.

“Normal operations will resume as soon as possible,” said the IRS. “Please check for updates. We apologize for the inconvenience during this difficult period.”

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