The IRS noted the move was triggered by concerns from inside the agency and tax professionals, along with news reports, that a substantial number of new claims are ineligible. The announcement noticed these claims are “increasingly putting businesses at financial risk by being pressured and scammed by aggressive promoters and marketing.
Claims received before the freeze will continue to be processed, but concerns over fraud will lengthen processing times from a goal of processing these from 90 days to 180 days, which will be much longer if the claim faces review or audit. Additional documentation may be required for such claims.
The IRS had already shifted its focus to review claims and now notes hundreds of criminal cases are being worked, and thousands of ERC claims have been referred for audit.