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Tag Archive for Taxpayer Advocate Service

Taxpayer Advocate Service Survey Confirms Need To Maintain And Enhance A Robust Omni-Channel Taxpayer Service Strategy

Nina Olson, National Taxpayer Advocate, Tax Blog, Washington D.C., USA, TaxConnections

In my most recent Annual Report to Congress, I published a study in support of the Service Priorities Project (SPP), a joint effort between Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) and IRS Wage & Investment (W&I). The goal of the SPP is to produce a matrix to help the IRS identify where to allocate its taxpayer service resources. To assist the IRS in determining service priorities, the matrix presents data on taxpayer needs and preferences as well as more traditional IRS “efficiency” concerns. While W&I initially worked with TAS in the development of the SPP, ultimately I felt that the additions to the Taxpayer Experience Survey did not address the missing data needed to complete the SPP matrix. I directed TAS Research to develop a study and fill in the gaps of the SPP. The result, A Further Exploration of Taxpayers’ Varying Abilities and Attitudes Toward IRS Options for Fulfilling Common Taxpayer Needs, revealed several areas that I’d like to highlight today. Read more

2018 Tax Forums Will Feature TAS Seminars, Case Resolution Program

Nina Olson, Tax Blog, Tax Advocate, Washington D.C. USA, TaxConnections

Each year the IRS sponsors the Nationwide Tax Forums, a three-day series of tax education and networking conferences for tax professionals in cities around the country. These events feature the latest information from the IRS, news about tax law changes, the chance to meet with software vendors, and the opportunity to attend nearly 50 seminars presented by IRS employees and members of professional associations.

At this year’s Forums, Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) will present a series of seminars, oversee the Case Resolution Program, and host two focus groups. TAS’s seminars include: Read more

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson Testifies

Nina Olson, Taxpayer Advocate, Tax Blog, Washington D.C., USA, TaxConnections

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson testified before the House Subcommittee on Health Care, Benefits, and Administrative Rules and Subcommittee on Government Operations Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Oversight today at a hearing entitled, “Continued Oversight Over the Internal Revenue Service.”

As you know, I lead the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), an independent organization within the IRS that advocates for taxpayers. TAS has two main functions – “case advocacy” and “systemic advocacy.” In most years our case advocacy operations
assist more than 200,000 taxpayers in resolving account problems with the IRS.2 On the systemic side, TAS identifies problems that are harming groups of taxpayers, and we make administrative and legislative recommendations to mitigate those problems.

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Finance On New Tax Issues You May Encounter This Tax Season

Nina Olson, Washington D.C., USA, Tax Ambassador, Tax Blog, TaxConnections

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson recently spoke with Yahoo! Finance on new tax issues taxpayers may face during the filing season this year. During the brief interview, Ms. Olson highlights the scope of what the Taxpayer Advocate Service does to help taxpayers experiencing IRS tax issues find resolution. Additionally, she offers recommendations on how to navigate the tax landscape this year in order to be in compliance with the tax law.

The National Tax Advocate further warns taxpayers of newly formed tax scams and how to detect these tax thieves when contacted. The NTA concluded the interview with details on how to claim newly restored tax benefits, if eligible, recently extended by Congress for tax year 2017. Read more

Success Story: TAS Advocates for Release of Levy due to Hardship

Nina Olson, Taxpayer Advocate

Every year the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) helps thousands of people with tax problems. This story is only one of many examples of how TAS helps resolve taxpayer issues. All personal details are removed to protect the privacy of the taxpayer.

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He Who Hesitates Is Lost – Late Filing Refunds

I have heard questions about expired refunds. Let me summarize. “I faced a hardship and didn’t file tax returns for several years. Now, I learn that I cannot get my refunds for all those years. Can you help?”

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IRS Stakeholder Liaison Meeting – Denver, Colorado

The following is a summary of the Internal Revenue Service’s most recent Stakeholder Liaison Meeting in Denver, Colorado as prepared by Ann Burton, IRS Senior Stakeholder Liaison. It is jam packed with procedural information and status updates from line managers and group leaders of the various IRS operational functions including Collections, Examinations, Appeals, Tax Court etc. A worthy read for any practitioner navigating the seemingly troubled waters of IRS operations. I found some of the Q+A particularly enlightening. Towards the end there is also information on Colorado updates. Enjoy!

Dena Figueroa & Tammy Hobson, IRS Automated Collections – ACS

To help better protect taxpayer information, beginning January 5, 2014, we will no longer Read more

Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) – The Decline And Fall of A Once Great Department Inside The IRS

Last week I read that the Taxpayer Advocate Service’s (TAS) case load has been growing substantially and this once great department inside the Internal Revenue Service does not have the resources to continue to handle its current inventory levels without adversely impacting its ability to provide effective service.

As a result, Internal Revenue Service memorandum TAS-13-0913-009 was produced to reissue guidance to TAS’s case-acceptance criteria for certain categories of Systemic Burden cases.

So I tried to get a case file opened yesterday and was basically told that unless you are unemployed and destined for homelessness as a result you will essentially NOT meet the Read more

Tax Identity Theft

Crime identity hackingTax identity theft has grown exponentially over the past several years. Identity theft has topped the Internal Revenue Service’s “Dirty Dozen” annual list of tax scams for both 2012 and 2013, and also appeared on the list in 2011. According to the National Taxpayer Advocate Service, identity theft grew by more than 650 percent between fiscal years 2008 and 2012. Unfortunately, the predictions are that this trend will continue, even in the face of growing safeguards that are currently being put into place by the IRS, tax practitioners and taxpayers themselves. An audit report released in August 2012 by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration estimated that during the next five years, the IRS could lose a projected $21 billion to fraudulently claimed tax refunds related to identity theft. This figure, according to TIGTA, takes into account the new fraud controls that the IRS has put in place that the agency touts as having saved $20 billion of fraudulent refunds on 2012 returns alone.

Impact On Individual And Businesses

Generally, identity theft as encountered by the IRS, typically involves a taxpayer’s stolen Social Security number that is then used to file a tax return and claim a fraudulent refund. When the legitimate taxpayer then files their return, the IRS rejects it. The taxpayer must correct the situation to obtain their refund, which in many cases can consume a considerable amount of time, effort and expense. In best-case scenarios, a six-month delay has been common. Identity theft usually plays out differently when a business taxpayer’s identity is stolen. Similar to return filings for individuals, the theft can occur in the form of a fraudulently claimed tax refund, but often involves more subtle schemes that remain undetected until the business receives a notice from a government agency related to unpaid employment taxes, erroneously claimed tax credits, unreported merchant payment card income, and similar business transaction-generated subterfuge. Read more

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