Internal Revenue Service Civil Penalties

NSTPInternal Revenue Service (IRS)

The Internal Revenue Service is committed to ensuring civil penalties are imposed in a fair, consistent and efficient manner. This includes application of penalties that are comprehensible and effective in promoting voluntary compliance. They invite you to share your comments regarding ways to improve the Civil Penalties Program. Specifically, they are requesting your assistance in determining barriers and soliciting recommendations for an enhanced penalty strategy that achieves the following desired states: Penalty Consistency –IRS applies appropriate penalties to taxpayer actions and circumstances in a fair and uniform manner Penalty Comprehensibility –IRS and taxpayers demonstrate an understanding of taxpayer reporting, filing, and payment obligations as it relates to civil penalties Penalty Effectiveness –IRS applies and abates penalties in a manner that positively affects future reporting, filing, and payment compliance Penalty Efficiency –IRS administers penalties promptly and accurately, so not to impede timely processing of case resolution Your recommendations will be used to address weaknesses in the current program and design a uniform approach to penalty administration. Please provide your comments to the following questions.  Do not include any information regarding specific taxpayer cases. Question #1:    What are the factors that influence an effective Penalty Program?  (i.e., “What are we already doing … Read More

Taxpayer Advocate Report Finds that Taxpayers are Unable to Navigate the IRS

NSTPInternal Revenue Service (IRS), Taxpayer

The excerpt below is from the article: “ACCESS TO THE IRS: Taxpayers Are Unable to Navigate the IRS and Reach the Right Person to Resolve Their Tax Issues.” Here is the link to the full Article. Taxpayers very often face difficulty in reaching the right person at the IRS in order to resolve their problems. The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA 98) requires the IRS to make itself accessible to taxpayers, specifically by phone. Section 3709 of RRA 98 mandates that the IRS place the addresses and telephone numbers for local offices in local phone directories across the country.1 However, even though the IRS largely meets this requirement, calling the local offices does little good. The IRS does not answer the phone at local offices and has even removed the option it once provided for taxpayers, including the elderly and disabled, to leave a message.2 Another provision of RRA 98 requires the IRS to provide taxpayers with an option to talk to an employee on IRS helplines in “appropriate circumstances” and direct a taxpayer’s questions to other IRS employees who can help.3 Although the IRS does transfer callers on its main toll free phone line to live assistors … Read More

EA Boot Camp Hotel Reservation Notice

NSTPSpecial Topics Workshop

Be sure to reserve your hotel room today at The Orleans Hotel & Casino for our EA Boot Camp Event April 27th– April 30th, 2015 at the special NSTP rate of $43 a night! The last day the group rate will be available will be March 26th, 2015. Call the reservations department at 1-800-675-3267 or go online to www.OrleansCasino.com/groups and reference the group code A5NSC04. Please note: The group rate will no longer be available after March 26th, 2015. Any reservations made after the cutoff date will be subject to the hotel’s prevailing rate which is going to be between $200-$350 a night because the ESPN Boxing Special Event is happening during the same weekend.

IRS Appointment Service

NSTPInternal Revenue Service (IRS), Tax Professionals

The IRS Appointment Service program has been implemented to help provide more efficient service to taxpayers.  A recent IRS memo explained the intent and process for using the Appointment Service. In recent years, the IRS has been increasingly encouraging taxpayers to get the help they need through our website, IRS.gov. As the nation increasingly conducts business online, the IRS has seen strong growth in the use of services available on our website, particularly for taxpayers         checking the status of their refunds, making payments or finding answers to their tax questions. Still, traffic in many Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs), particularly during the filing season, remains consistently more than IRS limited resources can support, forcing people to face lengthy wait times for help. In order to more effectively use the expertise of the IRS TAC employees, we are testing delivering face-to-face service through an appointment process in a sample of TACs during this filing season. Currently, TACs serve customers on a walk-in basis: first come, first served. In some situations, this means taxpayers can wait over an hour for help, creating a frustrating situation for both taxpayers and IRS employees. With the test process, the appointment scheduler will work with the taxpayer … Read More

IRS Seeks Volunteers for Taxpayer Advocacy Panel

NSTPInternal Revenue Service (IRS), Voluntary Program

The Internal Revenue Service seeks civic-minded volunteers to serve on the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel, a federal advisory committee that listens to taxpayers, identifies major taxpayer concerns and makes recommendations for improving IRS service. The TAP provides a forum for taxpayers to raise concerns about IRS service and offer suggestions for improvement. The TAP reports annually to the Secretary of the Treasury, IRS Commissioner and National Taxpayer Advocate. The Office of the Taxpayer Advocate is an independent organization within the IRS that provides support for and oversight of the TAP. The TAP includes members from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, in addition to one member abroad representing international taxpayers. Each member is appointed to represent the interests of taxpayers in his or her geographic location as well as taxpayers as a whole. To be a member of the TAP, a person must be a U.S. citizen, be current with your federal tax obligations, be able to commit 200 to 300 volunteer hours during the year, and pass a Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal background check. New TAP members will serve a three-year term starting in December 2015. Applicants chosen as alternate members will be considered to … Read More

Supreme Court Hears Arguments in King V. Burwell Case

NSTPAdvance Payments of the Premium Tax Credit, Affordable Care Act (ACA)

As you may recall, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a new case challenging the availability of the Premium Tax Credit for taxpayers who have obtained their insurance through the federal exchange.  The original legislation reads that the premium tax credit will be available through the state insurance exchange.  However, after the legislation was passed only 13 states and the District of Columbia established their own health insurance marketplace and the federal government stepped in with a federal exchange to assist taxpayers in the other states. Oral arguments were heard on February 28th, but a final ruling is not expected until the end of the session. HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said Tuesday that the Administration will not offer a policy alternative if the Supreme Court strikes down tax credits for people who purchased health insurance on the Federal exchange. In a letter to Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, Burwell wrote, “We know of no administrative actions that could, and therefore we have no plans that would, undo the massive damage to our health care system that would be caused by an adverse decision.” With the King verdict looming, officials in at least six Republican states … Read More