updated 3:53 PM CEST, Oct 20, 2020

Taxpayer Advocate Service posts online 'Covid-19 Business Tax Relief Tool'

The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) this week unveiled a new online "tool" it says is designed to help businesses to obtain any Covid-19 tax relief they may be eligible to claim.

The TAS is the U.S. Internal Revenue Service's official in-house ombudsman's office. It is headed up by the National Taxpayer Advocate.

According to a statement posted on its website, to use the new TAS tool, business owners first need to answer a series of questions contained in a box, as pictured below:

TAS question box

Based on the answers given, the TAS tool then responds with an explanation of the types of relief  that the business in question might be able to take advantage of.

The tool comes in respose to a growing awareness by IRS officials that U.S. business owners were struggling to know how best to take advantage of the various coronavirus pandemic relief options they were potentially eligible for, out of a range of such facilities that were introduced during the months that followed the global lockdown, and consequent financial downturn that continues to take its toll. 

According to the TAS, answering the questions in the box "should take less than five minutes", and once completed, some firms would conceiveably be eligible for "an immediate dollar-for-dollar tax offset against payroll taxes" to help, for example, to pay for employee sick leave, or to keep employees on the company's payroll.

"Based on your answers, the tool will," the TAS says:

  • "...let you know if you may be likely to qualify for any of the available relief options

  • "...link you to more information that will allow you to understand how to take advantage of those options."

Futher information may be found on the IRS's Coronavirus Relief web page, Coronavirus Tax Relief for Businesses and Tax-Exempt Entities page, and a page devoted to "New Employer Tax Credits".   

More information may also be found on the Taxpayer Advocate Service's Coronavirus (Covid-19) Tax Relief  page.