IRS to allow faxing of automatic method change requests

By Sally P. Schreiber, J.D.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, beginning July 31, the IRS is allowing taxpayers that file Form 3115, Application for Change in Accounting Method, to fax the duplicate copy of the request, instead of mailing a paper copy. Usually the duplicate copy is mailed the Ogden, Utah, IRS office, but now taxpayers can fax it to 844-249-8134. Taxpayers should still file the original copy with their tax return. The new procedure does not apply to nonautomatic accounting method changes, which are governed by separate procedures during the pandemic under Rev. Proc. 2020-29.

The IRS explained in a news release that if taxpayers have already mailed a duplicate copy of the form this year, they should not fax a second copy. It also explained that the IRS will not send a confirmation that it has received the fax, so taxpayers should keep their fax transmission form to verify all pages were sent.

To be sure the IRS can process the request, the IRS said the fax coversheet should include:

  • Subject line: Form 3115;
  • Sender’s name, title, phone number, and address;
  • Taxpayer’s name;
  • Date; and
  • Number of pages faxed (including cover sheet).

The IRS cautioned that taxpayers should not include sensitive information on the fax cover sheet, such as an employer identification number or a Social Security number.

For more news and reporting on the coronavirus and how CPAs can handle challenges related to the pandemic, visit the JofA’s coronavirus resources page.

For tax-related resources, visit the AICPA’s COVID-19: Tax resources page.

 Sally P. Schreiber, J.D., (Sally.Schreiber@aicpa-cima.com) is a Tax Adviser senior editor.

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