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IRS Postpones Canceling Tax Transcript Faxing Service After Grassley, Wyden Urge Delay

The IRS has said that it is postponing its plan to discontinue faxing taxpayer transcripts. The IRS statement came on the heels of a letter sent earlier this week from bipartisan leaders of the Senate Finance Committee urging such a delay.

IRS Cybersecurity

The IRS announced in IRS News Release IR-2018-256 last December that it would stop its tax transcript faxing service for individuals and businesses on February 4, 2019. The IRS cited to reasons of taxpayer security for the change in procedure. To that end, ceasing the IRS’s transcript faxing service would better prohibit cybercriminals from obtaining taxpayer data, according to the IRS.

Grassley, Wyden Urge Delay

SFC Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and ranking member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., sent IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig a letter earlier this week expressing concern with the IRS’s original timeline for discontinuing the tax transcript faxing service. The bipartisan leaders did not ask the IRS to eliminate its plan to discontinue the particular service. However, they did encourage the IRS to extend the date of discontinuation for the sake of taxpayers and practitioners in light of the recent partial government shutdown, which included the IRS.

“[W]e encourage the IRS to delay its planned discontinuation of faxing taxpayer information until such time that the agency can reasonably resolve the legitimate concerns of the tax-practitioner community about alternatives to the IRS faxing taxpayer information,” Grassley and Wyden wrote. “Of course, such a delay should not compromise the security or privacy of taxpayer information.”

IRS Extends Transcript Faxing Service

The IRS’s Wage & Investment Division issued a January 30 statement stating that the IRS will extend its transcript faxing service beyond February 4. Additionally, the IRS said it is reviewing options for a new timeline and will provide taxpayers and practitioners advance notice of the new date.