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IRS Urges Electronic Filing of Employment Tax Returns

BY: Jyme Mariani, Esq. | 04/24/20

Both in an April 17 email to payroll professionals and in an Update for Reporting Agents, the IRS announced that it “is unable to process paper tax returns, respond to paper correspondence, or staff toll-free live-service lines” due to COVID-19 precautions. The IRS reminded employers that this affects processing both employment tax returns and Form 8655, Reporting Agent Authorization.

The IRS advises payroll professionals to use electronic options for filing available on its website. The IRS said e-Filed employment tax returns will be processed as usual. However, returns with an error that would cause it to go to the Error Resolution System will not be completely processed.

Reporting agents must submit a Form 8655 for each employer for which they file electronically. Form 8655 authorizes the reporting agent to file some forms (including Forms 940, 941, and 944) electronically on the employer’s behalf.

Form 8655 Processing Is Closed

The IRS said reporting agents should continue to e-File their clients’ employment tax returns and deposit their clients’ employment taxes using EFTPS, even if the Form 8655 has not been entered into the Reporting Agent File.

To learn more about federal and state laws, regulations, and information to keep your company's payroll operations in compliance, check out Payroll Source Plus!


Jyme Mariani, Esq., is Managing Editor of Payroll Currently and Payroll Information Resources for the APA.