Every year the National Taxpayer Advocate submits a report to Congress identifying significant tax issues the TAS (Tax Advocate Service) will focus on in the upcoming fiscal year. On June 27, Nina E. Olson (current National Taxpayer Advocate) released the mid-year report expressing particular concern about the “taxpayer impact of expired and expiring tax provisions, the rise in tax fraud and tax-related identity theft and attempts to limit the National Taxpayer Advocate’s input on issues that affect taxpayer rights and taxpayer burden via ‘Taxpayer Assistance Orders’ and ‘Taxpayer Advocate Directives’.”
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 this time and must detail the TAS’s objectives for the upcoming year. The second report is due on December 31st, in addition to other requirements, must identify 20 of the most serious problems encountered by taxpayers.
Other areas of focus, as detailed by the mid-year report, include the following:
- The IRS’s increasing use of automated examination and other tax adjustment procedures, which limits opportunities for taxpayers to interact directly with an IRS employee and often does not provide the taxpayer rights protections traditionally associated with audits.
- The impact of the IRS’s crackdown on persons with offshore accounts, which often subjects individuals who were not engaged in tax evasion to draconian penalties, and the related issue of modifying the terms of the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program so that individuals who made honest mistakes can correct them without fear of excessive penalties.
- Collaborating with the IRS to improve taxpayer service options for international taxpayers to help alleviate their compliance challenges.
- Examining the application and taxpayer impact of the IRS’s new “fresh start” initiative, which is designed to allow financially struggling taxpayers to remain in or come into compliance based on their ability to pay.
- Improving coordination with the IRS and other government agencies to protect taxpayer rights and minimize taxpayer burden. In recent years, the Taxpayer Advocate Service has been asked to assist taxpayers who had been clients of several tax-resolution or tax-preparation firms that were sued by government entities, including the Law Firm of Roni L. Deutch, Mo’ Money Taxes, and Taxmasters; taxpayers who received disaster-related assistance overpayments from the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and taxpayers who received payments from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in settlement of discrimination claims.
Universal’s IRS-Approved Tax Training Will Help Meet IRS Regulations
Universal Accounting recently announced its approval as an IRS Continuing Education Provider, enabling individuals desiring to become Registered Tax Return Preparers to fulfill their CE requirements through Universal’s self-study and online tax courses.
The IRS oversees the approval of all CE providers. Because Universal’s tax training was already recognized as a sponsor of Quality Assurance Service (QAS) self-study courses, after meeting the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy’s (NASBA) rigorous standards, the Professional Tax Preparer program was easily adopted by the IRS. Universal is happy to join the ranks of IRS-approved Continuing Education Providers and is confident that their tax training will enable countless graduates to advance their careers in the finance industry.
If you would like to learn how the Professional Tax Program can enhance your career, call Universal Accounting at 1-877-833-7909.