FY 2014 Objectives Report to Congress and Special Report to Congress
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.
National Taxpayer Advocate Special Report to Congress:
Political Activity and the Rights of Applicants for Tax-Exempt Status
This year, the National Taxpayer Advocate has taken the unusual step of issuing a supplement to the Fiscal Year Objectives Report to Congress. In the National Taxpayer Advocate Special Report to Congress: Political Activity and the Rights of Applicants for Tax-Exempt Status, she discusses the significant challenges the IRS faces when determining whether political activity by EOs is at permissible levels. The report suggests a framework for making these determinations that incorporates appropriate checks and balances. The National Taxpayer Advocate also offers her analysis of some of the root causes of the problems experienced by the taxpayers identified in the TIGTA report, and discusses TAS’s efforts on behalf of taxpayers who sought TAS assistance.
The NTA has repeatedly recommended that Congress enact a Taxpayer Bill of Rights. This Bill of Rights would act as an organizing principle for tax administrators, an educational framework for IRS employees, and a consciousness-raising document for taxpayers. It would provide a significant check and balance against government overreaching. Moreover, a foundational taxpayer bill of rights would more clearly expose the gaps in our statutory or administrative construct.
Selected Areas of Focus
National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson today released a report to Congress that identifies the priority issues the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) will focus on during the upcoming fiscal year. The report expresses particular concern about the IRS’s unwillingness to date to issue full refunds to victims of tax preparer fraud, the impact of budget cuts on the IRS’s ability to meet taxpayer needs, and shortcomings in IRS procedures for assisting victims of tax-related identity theft. In addition, Olson released a special report examining the IRS’s use of questionable criteria to screen applicants for tax-exempt status. Continue>>
- IRS lags in program to spot tax refund fraud: watchdog (Reuters, Aug. 26)
- Government effort not stopping tax fraud cases (The Tampa Tribune, Aug. 4, 2013)
- Thank You For Calling the IRS, Please Hold (FOXBusiness, July 11, 2013)
The Time for Tax Reform is Now!
To further the dialogue about tax reform, TAS has established a vehicle to receive taxpayers’ suggestions for tax reform. Please provide your input.
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