National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson discussed the potential pitfalls of treating information on the IRS’s website, such as its FAQs pages, as authoritative. The Taxpayer Advocate is an independent office within the IRS tasked with helping people resolve tax issues with the IRS and recommending changes that will prevent future problems.
Archive for IRS
In my first blog on passport issues, I discussed the importance of providing notice to taxpayers prior to certifying their seriously delinquent tax debts to the Department of State (DOS). Once the IRS makes the certification, the DOS must deny the person’s passport application and it may revoke their passport, except in certain emergency and humanitarian situations. Under the IRS’s current policy, the only direct notice prior to the certification is through language buried in the middle of the CDP notice, which was not included at all for taxpayers who received their CDP notices prior to January 2017. This policy impairs due process rights and the taxpayer’s right to be informed and right to challenge the IRS’s position and be heard. Read more
According to Internal Revenue Code Section 1014 the basis of property acquired from a decedent is the fair market value of the property at the date of the decedent’s death.
This is often referred to as stepped up basis and it is profoundly significant for U.S. taxpayers dealing with the myriad of issues surrounding estate planning or tax preferential transfer of assets. Read more
Summer is swiftly coming to an end.
It’s time to think about getting the kids back to school. And what a relief, there’s been little to no thought about taxes. Sure, we think about the sales tax breaks we get buying back to school items and clothing this time of year, but that’s actually enjoyable. Read more
Previously, I analyzed the IRS collection performance, looking at the effects of different drivers of collection such as notices, installment agreements, liens, levies, and refund offsets. Today, I’d like to pick this topic back up, but focus on a collection issue associated with new legislation. In late 2015, Congress passed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), which aimed to boost tax collection through two avenues: Read more
Previously, we discussed a newly-enacted Code Section 7345 of the Internal Revenue Code, which authorizes the denial, revocation, or limiting of a delinquent taxpayer’s U.S. passport. We noted then that the statutory language contained in the new law offers few details about how exactly the penalty will be administered and to what extent exceptions would apply.
After more than a year-long delay, the IRS finally provided a number of important additional details relating to the passport revocation rule on its website. Read more
In 2012, we discussed the use of data-mining technology and how the Internal Revenue Service has adopted it to find taxpayers with undisclosed offshore bank accounts. U.S. taxpayers who are still considering whether to disclose their accounts need to understand that IRS’s data-mining software increases their risk of being detected. They should act accordingly and seek legal advice immediately.” We also discussed that the phasing in over the coming year of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) will only increase the breadth and depth of the data available to IRS and E-Trak. Read more
At TAS, we help taxpayers from all walks of life. When it comes to taxpayers with tax debt, some taxpayers have the resources to pay their debt. This blog focuses on the method the IRS uses to determine the amount of basic living expenses it should take into account if a taxpayer needs to pay his or her tax debt over time.
Congress directed the IRS to make sure taxpayers who enter into offers in compromise still have enough money to cover their basic expenses. Read more
In an earlier blog I discussed my concern about how the IRS’s private debt collection (PDC) program affects taxpayers who are likely experiencing economic hardship. In this blog, I want to share my concern that the IRS is not making good business decisions as it implements the PDC initiative.
Since 2004, Internal Revenue Code (IRC) § 6306 has authorized the IRS to outsource tax debts to private collection agencies (PCAs).
I have always had concerns about outsourcing tax debts to private collection agencies (PCAs). First, I believe tax collection is an “inherently governmental function” within the meaning of section five of the 1998 FEAR Act that should be performed only by federal employees. Second, as a TAS study of the last private debt collection (PDC) initiative showed, the IRS is more efficient at collecting tax debt than PCAs are. Now that Internal Revenue Code (IRC) § 6306(c) requires the IRS to outsource some tax debt, my job is to ensure that its PDC program operates in accordance with the law and respects taxpayers’ rights. Read more
Despite the overall success of the IRS tax amnesty programs in recent years, many expats remain hesitant to enter the programs due to a number of misunderstandings surrounding their requirements and their outcomes. In this blog, we separate fact from fiction so that you can decide intelligently whether tax amnesty is right for you. Read more