The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) has launched a new assistance program specifically designed to help taxpayers subject to current DRS collections matters who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The DRS Priority One Taxpayer Assistance Program (Priority One) is available to business and individual taxpayers who may be unable to meet their current collections obligations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Any taxpayer who is the subject of a payment plan, bank warrant, wage execution, or other levy by DRS and needs relief or assistance because of the impact of COVID-19, can contact DRS directly to speak to a tax professional.
“Every person and business has been impacted by COVID-19. It is important now, more than ever, for taxpayers to know DRS is committed to working with them,” said Acting Revenue Services Commissioner John Biello. “In keeping with the DRS mission of providing the highest level of customer service, this new program connects taxpayers with a DRS professional, who will review individual circumstances and determine what relief may be available.”
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DRS has established a hotline and email dedicated to Priority One questions:
- DRS Priority One Hotline: 860-541-7650 (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., to speak to a DRS representative, or to leave a voicemail)
- DRS Priority One Email: DRSPriorityOne_CollectionsAssist@po.state.ct.us
- DRS Website: portal.ct.gov/drs
In order to assist DRS in evaluating email inquiries, taxpayers are encouraged to provide as much information as possible about their situation and the relief that is being sought.
Taxpayers will be required to demonstrate that their need for relief or assistance relates to the impact of COIVD-19 coronavirus. Because this program is brand new, announced April 17, the specifics of what constitutes a COVID-19-related event has yet to be published by the DRS.
It is fair to say that if you are an individual who has lost employment or a business that was forced to close, temporarily or otherwise, as a result of the pandemic, you will likely be able to seek assistance or relief under the Priority One program.
Similarly, if you operate a business like a restaurant that is still open for take-out or curbside pickup, but sales are so low that you are only able to cover your overhead and are unable to make payments to the DRS, you may also qualify.
The central idea behind the Priority One assistance program is that those who were already in collections with the DRS before the pandemic are unlikely to be able to meet their collection obligations during the pandemic. Priority One does not apply to any individuals or businesses who do not currently owe money to the DRS.
The DRS website also contains a FAQ sheet detailing other measures taken in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It includes an April 14 update explaining the DRS has extended filing and payment deadlines for certain state tax returns.
Those with questions about the Priority One program and any other Connecticut coronavirus relief measures should contact one of Cramer & Anderson’s highly-experienced business and tax attorneys.
- Attorney Dolores Schiesel, who co-authored this post, has extensive experience in real estate and business law, as well as Estate Planning and Elder Law. Call Attorney Schiesel Monday through Friday at (860) 927-3568, or email her anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Attorney Neal D. White, Jr. is the lead Partner for business and corporate law in the firm’s Litchfield office. Contact Attorney White by email at email@example.com or by phone at (860) 567-8718,
- Attorney Mitchell Melnick has decades of experience providing transactional, compliance, and business planning advice to a wide variety of businesses and individuals. He works in the firm’s New Milford office and may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (860) 355-2631.
- Associate Graham Moller, who co-authored this post, works in the New Milford office and may be reached by email at email@example.com, or by phone at (860) 355-2631.
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