Washington Post: As the backlogged IRS struggles to open mail and answer the phone, taxpayers face long delays

Washington Post: As the backlogged IRS struggles to open mail and answer the phone, taxpayers face long delays. “The Internal Revenue Service had barely begun bringing its lowest-paid workers back to the office in late April when someone in the Philadelphia call center came down with a fever, forcing the third-floor staff to head home. Within two days, an employee in the processing center in Kansas City, Mo., who routes paper checks for deposit was sick with symptoms of the novel coronavirus, too. Then the husband of a woman in accounts management in the Covington, Ky., office tested positive, leading managers to presume that she was infected. The three service centers, among 10 campuses nationwide where the IRS is trying to reinstate 11,000 employees, had to partially close for a week for deep cleaning. The infections were just the first hurdle for an agency desperate to reconnect with tens of millions of taxpayers it has struggled to serve since late March.”

‘Payment status not available’: For many, IRS stimulus payment website raises more questions than answers (CNBC)

CNBC: ‘Payment status not available’: For many, IRS stimulus payment website raises more questions than answers. “When the government launched a web tool on April 15 so that eligible Americans could find out the status of their coronavirus stimulus payments, Jake Koepke was eager to log on. But the central Wisconsin resident, 34, was disappointed to find himself shut out after three failed attempts to get onto the site.”

Coronavirus stimulus checks: TurboTax launches tool to help Americans who don’t file tax returns (Yahoo Money)

I feel ambivalent about this one as it involves Turbo Tax and I do not trust Turbo Tax at all. But it is in association with the IRS. So here it is. Yahoo Money: Coronavirus stimulus checks: TurboTax launches tool to help Americans who don’t file tax returns. “TurboTax has launched a new stimulus registration tool in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service to help low-income Americans who don’t usually file taxes get their stimulus aid checks. The tool is free and allows people to file a minimum tax return with the IRS to determine if they’re eligible for the stimulus payment. If eligible, users will need to answer a few questions and choose whether to get the payment though direct deposit or check.”

ProPublica: IRS Reforms Free File Program, Drops Agreement Not to Compete With TurboTax

ProPublica: IRS Reforms Free File Program, Drops Agreement Not to Compete With TurboTax. “The IRS announced significant changes Monday to its deal with the tax prep software industry. Now companies are barred from hiding their free products from search engines such as Google, and a years-old prohibition on the IRS creating its own online filing system has been scrapped.”

Ars Technica: Researchers see spike in “out of season” IRS-impersonating phishing attacks

Ars Technica: Researchers see spike in “out of season” IRS-impersonating phishing attacks. “Tax return scammers usually strike early in the year, when they can turn the personal information of victims into fraudulent tax refund claims. But members of Akamai’s threat research team found a recent surge in “off-season” phishing attacks masquerading as notices from the Internal Revenue Service, targeting over 100,000 individuals.”