The Internal Revenue Service Warns American Taxpayers to Prepare to Face Demands to Return Funds Received for Pandemic-Era Relief

The IRS has sent more than 20,000 letters notifying taxpayers that their requests for a tax break during the pandemic have been denied, and the agency will be seeking repayment.

The IRS has alerted taxpayers that, as part of its effort to crack down on questionable claims for pandemic-era tax credits, the agency will be mailing letters instructing taxpayers to return funds that were “erroneously claimed and received.”

The most recent warning from the IRS, released on December 6, concerns a surge in improper claims for the pandemic-era relief initiative called the Employee Retention Credit (ERC). This refundable tax credit is intended for businesses that sustained employee payments amid COVID-19 shutdowns.

A large number of improper ERC claims were pushed by predatory promoters on unwitting businesses, with an investigation by the IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) division uncovering over $2.8 billion of potentially fraudulent ERC claims.

The surge in improper Employee Retention Credit (ERC) claims led the IRS to declare a moratorium on processing new ERC claims in mid-September. At that time, the agency stated it had referred thousands of ERC cases for audit.

Not only that, but the IRS said that it was undertaking “enhanced compliance reviews” of existing



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