In an April 17, 2020 post to the Liskow Energy Law Blog, we advised our clients and friends that the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) had published guidance on how refunds attributable to the CARES Act newly-permitted 5-year carryback of NOLs in section 172 of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) and the accelerated use of AMT Carryforward Credits in section 53(e) of the Code can be obtained. See, J. Bradford, New IRS Guidance on Obtaining Refunds for Net Operating Loss Carrybacks, Corporate AMT Carryforward Credits and Filing Amended Returns for Partnerships (the “Prior Blog Post”). Since that time, the IRS has published on its website additional guidance in the form of frequently-asked questions and responses (“FAQs”) regarding the implementation of the temporary policy allowing (1) corporations to file by fax Form 1139 – Corporation Application for Tentative Refund (“Form 1139”) to obtain a tentative refund for a prior tax year to which an NOL is carried back pursuant to the new NOL carryback rules and to obtain a tentative refund attributable to implementing the new accelerated use of AMT Carryforward Credits and (2) individuals to file by fax Form 1045 – Application for Tentative Refund (“Form 1045”) to obtain a tentative refund for a prior tax year to which an NOL is carried back.
FAQs began appearing on its website on April 14, 2020, when the IRS announced the temporary policy allowing filing by fax beginning on April 17, 2020 and the appropriate fax numbers for corporations ((844) 249-6236) and individuals ((844) 249-6237) to use. Additional FAQs have been added since that date, and several have been updated. Taxpayers with specific questions should consult the IRS website for the detailed FAQs. However, a summary of the key points in those FAQs is set out below:
- FAQ 1 – The temporary procedure of allowing filing by fax is added to accelerate certain relief provided in the CARES Act.
- FAQ 2 – A taxpayer who previously mailed in either Form 1139 or Form 1045 can submit such form again by faxing it to the appropriate number.
- FAQ 3 – Forms 1039 and 1045 will be processed in the order in which they are received.
- FAQ 4 – Any Form 1039 or Form 1045 that is deemed an ineligible claim for refund that should have been filed on Form 1120-X – Amended U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return (“Form 1120-X”) or Form 1040-X – Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return (“Form 1040-X”) will be processed when normal IRS operations resume.
- FAQ 5 – With changes in the law brought about by the CARES Act, Form 1139 and Form 1045 now can be used to apply for a refund carried back to a section 965 year. Instructions on those forms to the contrary should be disregarded. Updated forms to be issued are expected to reflect the changes in the law.
- FAQ 6 – The temporary filing by fax does not apply to the filing of Form 4466 – Corporate Application for Quick Refund of Overpayment of Estimated Tax. The filing of this form continues in accordance with existing instructions.
- FAQ 7 – The temporary policy of allowing filing by fax for Forms 1139 and 1045 will not be made permanent.
- FAQ 8 – The temporary filing by fax does not apply to the filing of Form 1120-X or Form 1040-X. The filing of these amended return forms continues in accordance with existing instructions.
- FAQ 9 – Forms 1139 and 1045 need to reflect the numbers in the originally filed or previously processed amended returns. If a Form 1120-X or Form 1040-X has been filed and the revised numbers are used in Form 1139 or Form 1045, the amended return will have to be processed prior to processing Form 1139 or Form 1045. Taxpayers should not fax amended returns when Form 1139 or Form 1045 is filed by fax.
- FAQ 10- Detailed instructions are provided on how to prepare Form 1139 and Form 8827 to claim a tentative refund for AMT Carryforward Credits, since prior to the CARES Act Form 1139 could not be used for this purpose.
- FAQ 11 – A taxpayer’s application for a refund based on an NOL carryback and on an accelerated use of AMT Credit Carryforwards can be made on a single Form 1139. Detailed instructions on preparing Form 1139 and Form 8827 are provided.
- FAQ 12 – Detailed instructions are provided as to what documents should be included along with Form 1139 filed by fax.
- FAQ 13 – Taxpayers filing Form 1139 or Form 1045 will be contacted by the IRS by telephone if more information is needed. Make sure the appropriate phone numbers are included on these forms.
- FAQ 14 – Taxpayers currently under examination should not provide Form 1139 or Form 1045 directly to the examining agent. Instead, the forms should be filed via the normal process or the temporary procedures for filing by fax.
- FAQ 15 – Taxpayers needing to file an amended return on Form 1120-X or Form 1040-X in order to then file an application for a tentative refund should file hard copies of the amended return by mail in order to meet the filing deadlines for such amended returns.
- FAQ 16 – A corporate taxpayer that files an amended return on Form 1120-X electronically can file Form 1139 using the figures as included in the amended return. Such a taxpayer is instructed to notate on the fax cover page that it e-filed Form 1120-X and the dates that the e-filing was accepted. IRS will not process the taxpayer’s Form 1139 until the figures in the amended return or processed and reflected in the taxpayer’s account.
- FAQ 17 – IRS is working diligently to process all Forms 1139 and Forms 1045 within the statutorily-required 90 day timeframe.
- FAQ 18 – The temporary procedures for filing Forms 1139 and 1045 by fax may not be used to file a Form 1139 or Form 1045 associated with a previously-filed Form 990-T (Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return). Instead, an exempt organization must file an amended Form 990-T in accordance with the Instructions for Form 990-T and may attach a Form 1139 or Form 1045 to the amended Form 990-T.
Liskow & Lewis is available to assist in the filing of Forms 1139 and 1045 in accordance with the new IRS guidance.
 The Prior Blog Post updated an original March 28, 2020 post to the Liskow Energy Law Blog by J. Bradford and J. Birdsong entitled “CARES Act makes Significant Changes to Four Key Business Tax Provisions Enacted in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017”.
 See the Prior Blog Post for details on the CARES Act changes with respect to carrybacks to “section 965 years”.
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