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September 2020



September 3: Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) Update: Opportunity Zones



Check Webinars for Small Businesses for updates.


Topic:   Understanding Form 2290, Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax

Aired:   Thursday, July 23, 2020

View:    IRS Video Portal

The full transcript is provided as closed captioning and the PowerPoint is posted for downloading under the “Slides PDF” link.



Pending Check Payments and Payment Notices

  • If a taxpayer mailed a check with or without a tax return, it may be unopened in the backlog of mail the IRS is processing due to COVID-19.
  • Any payments will be posted as the date the IRS received them rather than the date the agency processed them. To avoid penalties and interest, taxpayers should not cancel their checks and should ensure funds continue to be available so the IRS can process them.



Unemployment compensation is taxable; have tax withheld now and avoid a tax-time surprise


  • With millions of Americans now receiving taxable unemployment compensation, many of them for the first time, the IRS reminds people receiving unemployment compensation that they can have tax withheld from their benefits now to help avoid owing taxes on this income when they file their federal income tax return next year.

Now available: IRS Form 1040-X electronic filing

  • Taxpayers can now submit Form 1040-X electronically with commercial tax-filing software.
  • Because the IRS continues to work through backlogs, the normal processing time of up to 16 weeks for F1040-X submitted on paper also applies to the electronic Forms 1040-X.

IRS takes new steps to ensure people with children receive $500 Economic Impact Payments


  • The IRS continues to look for ways to help people who were unable to provide their information in time to receive Economic Impact Payments for their children. As part of that effort, the IRS announced it will reopen the registration period for federal beneficiaries who didn't receive $500 per child payments earlier this year.
  • The IRS urges certain federal benefit recipients to use the IRS.gov Non-Filers tool starting August 15 through September 30 to enter information on their qualifying children to receive the supplemental $500 payments.


50,000 spouses to get catch-up Economic Impact Payments

  • The IRS will soon send catch-up Economic Impact Payment checks to about 50,000 individuals whose portion of the EIP was diverted to pay their spouse's past-due child support.
  • These spouses do not need to take any action to get their money. The IRS will automatically issue the portion of the EIP that was applied to the other spouse's debt.


Deferral of employment tax deposits and payments through December 31, 2020

  • The CARES Act allows employers to defer the deposit and payment of the employer's share of Social Security taxes and self-employed individuals to defer payment of certain self-employment taxes.
  • All employers (including government entities) may defer the deposit and payment of the employer's share of Social Security tax.


Earning side income: Is it a hobby or a business?

  • Whether it's something they've been doing for years or something they just started to make extra money, taxpayers must report income earned from hobbies in 2020 on next year's tax return.
  • What the difference between a hobby and a business? A business operates to make a profit. People engage in a hobby for sport or recreation, not to make a profit.
  • Here are nine things taxpayer must consider when determining if an activity is a hobby or a business.

Tips for taxpayers who need to file a new W-4


  • All taxpayers should review their withholding annually. They can use the IRS Tax Withholding Estimator to check and make sure they're not having too little or too much federal tax withheld. This tool offers workers, retirees and self-employed individuals a step-by-step method to help figure out if they should adjust their withholding.

Good recordkeeping is an essential element of tax planning

  • Now is a good time for people to begin thinking about next year's tax return. While it may seem early to be preparing for 2021, reviewing your recordkeeping now will pay off when it comes time to file again.

Here’s what taxpayers need to know about the home office deduction

  • The home office deduction allows qualifying taxpayers to deduct certain home expenses on their tax return. With more people working from home than ever before, some taxpayers may be wondering if they can claim a home office deduction when they file their 2020 tax return next year.

What taxpayers should do if they get a letter or notice from the IRS


  • Every year the IRS mails letters or notices to taxpayers for many different reasons.
  • Here are some do's and don'ts for taxpayers who receive one.


Financial safety is an important part of disaster preparedness

  • Before a natural disaster strikes, taxpayers are encouraged to prepare, if possible. This includes developing evacuation plans, putting together kits of essential supplies and putting financial safety measures in place.

IRS provides tax relief for victims of California wildfires; Oct. 15 deadline, other dates extended to Dec. 15

IRS provides tax relief for victims of Iowa derecho; extends Oct. 15, other upcoming deadlines to Dec. 15


Identity theft affidavit now available for businesses and other entities

  • Form 14039-B, an identity theft affidavit for businesses and other entities, makes it easier for businesses, estates, trusts and tax-exempt organizations to report identity theft to the IRS. Submitting this form will allow the IRS to more quickly assist entities who are victims of identity theft. The form is available on Identity Theft Central under the “Business” tab.


Last round of ITINs will expire in 2020; IRS encourages early renewal to prevent refund delays

  • More than 1 million Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers are set to expire at the end of 2020 as the IRS completes the expiration of ITINs assigned prior to 2013. The IRS continues to urge affected taxpayers to submit their renewal applications early to avoid refund delays next year.


IRS urges employers to choose carefully when selecting a payroll service provider

  • The IRS reminded employers to carefully choose their payroll service providers following continuing concerns that some disreputable organizations can fail to deposit employment taxes, leaving businesses vulnerable to unpaid bills.
  • Though most of these businesses provide quality service, there are, unfortunately, some who do not have their clients' best interests at heart. Each year, a few of these third parties fail to remit the payroll taxes entrusted to them and close their doors abruptly. The damage hits their unsuspecting clients hard.


SBA is Still Accepting Economic Injury Disaster Loan Applications

  • Small businesses, private non-profits and agricultural businesses impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, can still apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. EIDL proceeds can be used to cover a wide array of working capital and normal operating expenses, such as continuation to health care benefits, rent, utilities and fixed debt payments.


Free tax content you can share: Outreach Connection


  • If you need to share information about taxes with your staff, clients, customers or colleagues, we have content you can include in your:
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    • e-Newsletter
    • Twitter, Instagram or other social media
  • We add more items to this page every month. Subscribe now to get email alerts.


e-News Subscriptions

  • The IRS offers several e-News subscriptions on a variety of tax topics. Click above for information about subscribing.

IRS Social Media

  • The IRS uses social media tools to share the latest information on tax changes, scam alerts, initiatives, products and services. Connect with the IRS through social media tools.


When you find an article you want to share, click on the “Share” link. Like so:

  • Scroll to the bottom of any page on IRS.gov. Look for “Share / Print”
  • Click on Share
  • You can share on Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin.
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