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FY22 Goal 2: Protect Taxpayer Rights and Reduce Burden

Objectives & Activities

1
1.

Partner with the Taxpayer Experience Office and others to propose an expanded range of improved options for accessing IRS services and information using digital communications.

  1. Continue to advocate that the IRS maintain a robust omnichannel service environment while concurrently enhancing its digital offerings.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  2. Continue to advocate that the IRS accept electronic signatures on all documents that require a signature, once the IRS assesses, identifies, and eliminates any data security vulnerabilities, if applicable.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  3. Continue to advocate for the permanent use of a secure messaging system with taxpayers and their representatives.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  4. Continue to advocate for an expanded list of documents the IRS will accept and transmit by email using an established secure messaging system, once the IRS assesses, identifies, and eliminates any data security vulnerabilities and file size limitation issues, if applicable.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  5. Continue to work with the IRS on implementation of the above recommendation and ensure taxpayer rights are protected by the technology changes.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
2
2.

Work with the IRS to implement enhanced e-filing and digital signature options to improve the taxpayer experience.

  1. Advocate for the prioritization of the e-filing of forms, schedules, and attachments identified by the IRS study.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  2. Advocate for the expeditious implementation of new digital forms.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  3. Work with the IRS to implement scanning technology to reduce transcription errors on individual income tax returns prepared electronically but filed on paper.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
3
3.

Strategize with the IRS to improve communications with taxpayers or improve processes for those selected for a correspondence audit in an effort to reduce default rates.

  1. Continue to advocate for providing taxpayers responding to correspondence audit notices the name, telephone number, and unique identifying number of an IRS employee who can serve as their direct contact throughout the correspondence audit process, along with the employee’s secure email address or the Taxpayer Digital Communications (TDC) Secure Messaging access needed to send and receive documents and communicate electronically with the assigned examiner.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  2. Continue to advocate for use of email or similar technology such as TDC Secure Messaging capabilities for all correspondence audit programs.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  3. Conduct research to identify the factors triggering the high rate of defaults in correspondence audits.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  4. Review and analyze current IRS procedures to determine if they add to the high rate of defaults.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  5. Examine the downstream consequences of the high rate of defaults on audit reconsideration, Tax Court petitions, and collections.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  6. Work with the IRS to develop a strategy to identify potential non-responsive taxpayers early in the audit process and propose recommendations to decrease defaults based upon our research.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
4
4.

Work with the IRS to identify and implement improvements in collection practices and communication, specifically for low-income taxpayers.

  1. Continue to work with the IRS to permit low-income taxpayers experiencing an economic hardship to request a bypass of a refund offset on a pending OIC and pursue the termination of the refund recoupment requirement in the year of the OIC acceptance.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  2. If appropriate, work with the IRS on updating its internal guidance and communications to taxpayers for any agreed changes to its collection procedures or policies.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  3. Conduct research to identify the most common math errors for the RRC and work with the IRS to educate taxpayers including the use of FAQs on IRS.gov and the tax year 2021 Form 1040 instructions.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  4. Continue to work with the IRS to improve communication with low-income taxpayers to help them avoid unexpected economic hardship when they request waivers of installment agreement user fees and to identify sources of delays with user fee waiver requests.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  5. Advocate for the IRS to use an algorithm developed by TAS to identify taxpayers at risk of economic hardship throughout the collection process and offer assistance to IRS on how to best use it.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
5
5.

Continue to work with the IRS to resolve the issues contributing to erroneous Collection Statute Expiration Dates (CSEDs) resulting from unreversed pending Installment Agreements (Ias) to prevent unlawful assessments.

  1. Raise awareness of CSEDs in external outreach and in TAS training.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  2. Collaborate with the IRS to include CSED training in Continuing Professional Education (CPE) courses for collection employees.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  3. Recommend the IRS insert CSED information in publications, notices, and forms, specifically Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  4. Monitor the implementation of the Integrated Automation Technology CSED Calculator Tool.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  5. Monitor proposed program changes through Unified Work Requests (UWRs) to prevent erroneous CSEDs.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  6. Monitor cases with incorrect CSEDs to make sure the IRS has corrected them.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  7. Monitor cases containing erroneous CSEDs with payments that are not barred by the refund statute to make certain the payments are returned to taxpayers.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
6
6.

Provide recommendations to improve timely processing of Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) applications and associated tax returns and promote communications and education for the resident alien community.

  1. Advocate for sufficient staffing for processing of Forms W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  2. Identify ITIN processing procedures that unduly delay or deny the assignments of ITINs and provide recommendations to improve the timeliness of the processing of ITINs.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  3. Encourage adoption of new measures for Certified Acceptance Agents (CAAs) to facilitate documentation requirements and expedite ITIN processing, such as permitting CAAs to authenticate documentation presented in virtual conferences and continue to advocate for the IRS to develop and implement a procedure that allows all applicants to apply for an ITIN throughout the year and submit alternative proof of a filing requirement other than an annual tax return.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  4. Work with the IRS to develop outreach messages to the undocumented immigrant community to assist with timely filing of tax returns and an understanding of the ITIN application procedures.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
7
7.

Work with the IRS to end systemic assessment of International Information Return (IIR) penalties and replace that system with an improved program.

  1. Recommend the IRS send taxpayers a proposed penalty notice to allow them to provide mitigating evidence such as reasonable cause; if timely filed, proof of timely filing; or application of the First Time Abatement (FTA) administrative relief.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  2. Recommend the IRS provide taxpayers 60 days to respond to proposed penalty notices and give IRS employees time to review and consider reasonable cause relief, FTA relief, or the issue of timeliness.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  3. Advocate for the IRS to reinstitute a penalty-free voluntary disclosure program, similar to the former FAQ 18 of the 2012 Offshore VDP, in which taxpayers will be encouraged to come forward, file delinquent information returns, and be compliant for future years. Specifically address those taxpayers who do not have other tax liabilities besides penalties associated with the missing IIRs, are not under examination, and have not been contacted for the delinquent IIRs.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  4. Continue advocating for the IRS to stop systemic assessment of IIR penalties.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
8
8.

Work with the IRS to gain more functionality for taxpayer's online accounts, improve the authentication process and prioritizing a tax professional account for their individual clients.

  1. Ascertain what common online account activities taxpayers in states or other nations can perform.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  2. Determine what authentication procedures taxpayers in states or other nations must use to access their accounts.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  3. Quantify unauthorized accesses in the online accounts of the taxing authorities of states or other nations or the online accounts of various financial institutions.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  4. Determine what online account features and capabilities U.S. taxpayers want to access.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  5. Determine what authentication criteria U.S. taxpayers could meet.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  6. Analyze if the authentication criteria that U.S. taxpayers can meet differs by demographics such as ethnicity, gender, or income.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
9
9.

Determine why taxpayers often do not respond to various types of IRS notices and letters and how to improve the response rate.

  1. Develop a list of notices and letters with high non-response rates.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  2. Review internal processes to identify ways to improve efficiency when processing taxpayer responses.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  3. Identify ways to clarify communication so taxpayers understand what actions they should take.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  4. Conduct focus groups and surveys with taxpayers who have not responded to specific types of IRS correspondence to determine and quantify the reasons for non-response.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
10
10.

Analyze tax return data, administrative Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) audit files, and census data to recommend a credit structure that is easier to administer while generating similar benefits to low-income families.

  1. Identify possible options for a new earnings-based per-worker credit and per-child credit to replace the existing EITC credit.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  2. Compare the existing EITC to the credit amount afforded by possible new per-worker and per-child structures and the effect to taxpayers not currently eligible for EITC.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  3. Analyze the outcome of prior EITC audits if the rules for the proposed per-worker and per child credit were in place.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  4. Explore IRS and Census Bureau data to quantify the number of children who would qualify their parents for a per-child tax credit under various definitions of a “qualifying child”.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update:
  5. Estimate the new improper payment rate for EITC based on the rules for the proposed per worker and per-child credit.
    Status: Open
    Expected Completion Date:
    Quarterly Update: