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To date, fiscal year 2014 has been an active year for the IRS. In addition to accepting the National Taxpayer Advocate’s proposal to adopt a Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR), the IRS ran a generally successful filing season (although taxpayer services were sub-optimal largely due to staffing limitations), instituted a more equitable approach to its Offshore Voluntary Disclosure initiative, and introduced a voluntary system for educating unenrolled tax-return preparers. The IRS has also taken significant steps to implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and to prepare for the 2015 filing season. But as we note in this report, the good news also raises additional questions and concerns.
Selected Areas of Focus
- Tax Return Preparer Standards
- Statutory Violations During Government Shutdown
- IRS Funding Gap and TAS Technology
IRS Responses and National Taxpayer Advocate’s Comments Regarding Most Serious Problems Identified in 2013 Annual Report to Congress
In each Annual Report to Congress, the National Taxpayer Advocate identifies at least 20 of the most serious problems encountered by taxpayers. While in previous years, the IRS’s responses to the identified problems were published as part of the Annual Report, the IRS’s responses to the 2013 Most Serious Problems are published here, along with the National Taxpayer Advocate’s comments on those responses to those comments. In this way, we retain full transparency regarding the IRS’s perspective on our recommendations to address taxpayer problems while still complying with the statute governing the report, which states that the report go directly to Congress without prior review by the Commissioner or others.
In keeping with our statutory mission, this report highlights key areas TAS will focus on in the coming year. These are areas where taxpayer rights are not being met or where we can do significantly more to protect taxpayer rights. We look forward to working with the IRS and Congress to ensure the perspective and the core rights of the U.S. taxpayer are considered when important tax administration decisions are made.
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