Expected Completion Date: TBD
1st Quarter: The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) continued to advocate for improved collection policies and procedures through discussions with IRS Collection policy leaders and in reviewing Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) provisions and correspondence to taxpayers. During the first quarter, we proposed specific revisions to the IRM procedures to require the IRS to wait for 120 days (up from the current 105 days) after issuing a notice of deficiency before assessing additional tax to prevent premature assessments; however, the IRS responded in the ARC 2021 Report Card that it would not be feasible. Also, we worked on proposing specific revisions to IRM procedures to require the IRS to defer collection activity until 45 days after the IRS addresses the merits of a taxpayer’s correspondence and revisions to Notice CP 15, Civil Penalty Notice, when issued for assessable penalties. Additionally during the quarter, we worked on revisions to IRM procedures to allow the IRS to consider changes in taxpayers’ circumstances when determining the installment agreement user fee. The National Taxpayer Advocate plans to address Offset Bypass Refunds (OBRs) issues in her 2022 Annual Report to Congress in the Most Serious Problems (MSP) section.
2nd Quarter: TAS continued to advocate for improved collection policies and procedures in the second quarter by working with IRS’ Small Business/Self Employed (SB/SE) function to stand up a cross-business operating division (BOD) team where TAS will help develop both short-term and long-term solutions to improve taxpayer services to mitigate premature assessments and potential tax court delays with processing petitions. Also during the second quarter, we proposed revisions to the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) section 184.108.40.206.8.2 because the current programming only allowed for a maximum of 15 cycles if there is an open control. The changes we proposed, and IRS made to the IRM in March, incorporated the recommendation to allow the number of cycles needed for information to post when a taxpayer requests a hold on collection while their request is being worked. Further, TAS met with IRS regarding two notices, the Civil Penalty Notice and the Civil Penalty Assessment, to discuss adding additional language to advise taxpayers they will not be provided additional opportunities to dispute the liability. TAS is analyzing the notices and will make recommended changes in the third quarter. Lastly, we continued to advocate for collection policies and procedures impacting taxpayers focused on Installment Agreements (IAs). The Bipartisan Budget Act allows for waiver or reimbursement of the IA user fee in cases of any taxpayer with adjusted gross income, as determined for the most recent year where the information is available, which does not exceed 250 percent of the applicable poverty level. Though the law specifies who can qualify for waiver, there are no restrictions on how the funds are collected. TAS continues to meet with the IRS to pursue a change of how the IA fee are collected.