The National Taxpayer Advocate Submits Mid-End Report to Congress
Every year the National Taxpayer Advocate submits a report to Congress identifying priority issues the TSA plans to focus on the upcoming fiscal year. On June 26th, Nina E. Olson (current National Taxpayer Advocate) released the mid-year report which noted three main concerns: how budget cuts will impact the IRS’s ability to serve taxpayers, the IRS’s unwillingness to release full refunds to tax fraud victims, and insufficient procedures in assisting identify theft victim.
The following specific challenges were listed as items requiring resolution:
- Relieving the financial harm suffered by victims of tax return preparer fraud.
- Conducting adequate oversight of the tax return preparer industry.
- Providing effective, timely and taxpayer-centric relief to victims of identity theft.
- Utilizing effective and timely collection alternatives to minimize taxpayer burden while reducing the number and dollar amount of balance-due accounting.
- Conducting education and outreach to taxpayers about their responsibilities under the Affordable Care Act.
- Resolving erroneous revocations of the tax-exempt status of small § 501(c)(3) organizations and failing to provide them with a pre-revocation administrative appeal.
- Establishing less draconian and more reasonable “settlement initiatives” for the millions of taxpayers who have legitimate reasons for overseas bank and financial accounts and whose failure to file reports was merely negligent.
Olson also released a special report focusing on the IRS’s questionable procedures in assessing taxpayers claiming exempt status. She explained, “Today, the IRS is an institution in crisis. In my view, however, the real crisis is not the one generating headlines. The real crisis facing the IRS—and therefore taxpayers—is a radically transformed mission coupled with inadequate funding to accomplish that mission. As a consequence of this crisis, the IRS gives limited consideration to taxpayer rights or fundamental tax administration principles as it struggles to get its job done.”
A detailed summary of this report can be found on the official IRS website.
The National Taxpayer Advocate submits two annual reports to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance. The first report is due every year at the end of June and must detail the TAS’s objectives for the upcoming fiscal year. The second report is due on December 31st, and, in addition to other requirements, must identify 20 of the most serious problems encountered by taxpayers.
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