National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) Nina E. Olson’s 2013 annual report to Congress urges the Internal Revenue Service to adopt a comprehensive Taxpayer Bill of Rights, and says IRS budget cuts and training reductions are harming taxpayer service.
First things first – The NTA’s annual report is prepared by the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) – an independent organization within the IRS.
The NTA delivers the report to the tax committees in Congress. That means the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance.
The report does not require a prior review by the IRS Commissioner, Treasury Secretary or the OMB, which makes the NTA a very powerful advocate for taxpayers and for reforming the tax collection process.
The report has four primary sections – most serious problems, legislative recommendations, most litigated issues, and a second volume that includes the results of TAS research and related studies.
You can read the full NTA report if you want to read all of it, but the “headlines” are listed below.
Most Serious Problems:-
- IRS Should Adopt a Taxpayer Bill of Rights
- IRS Budget Cuts Harm Taxpayer Service
- IRS Training Reductions Harm Taxpayer Service
- IRS Employees Lack Education on Taxpayer Rights
- New Approach Needed for Identity Theft Victim Assistance
- Taxpayers are harmed by Lack of Regulation of Return Preparers
- Offshore Voluntary Disclosure (OVD) Pressures Taxpayers Into Paying Disproportionate Penalties
- Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) Could be Bothersome
- Permanent Repeal of AMT
- Broaden Timeframes for Filing Refund Claims
- Lower Affordability Threshold for Premium Tax Credit
- IRS Should Bear the Burden of Proof Required to Ban Taxpayers From Claiming ETIC for Two Years
- Allow Educational Institutions to Verify Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs) with the IRS before filing Tuition Information Reports
Top 10 Most Litigated Issues of 2013, in descending order are:-
- Accuracy-Related Penalty Under IRC § 6662(b)(1) and (2)
- Trade or Business Expenses Under IRC § 162(a) and Related Code Sections
- Gross income Under IRC § 61 and Related Code Sections
- Summons Enforcement Under IRC §§ 7602(a), 7604(a), and § 7609(a)
- Collection Due Process Hearings Under IRC §§ 6320 and 6330)
- Failure to File Penalty Under IRC § 6651(a)(1), Failure to Pay Penalty Under IRC § 6651(a)(2), and Estimated Tax Penalty Under IRC § 6654
- Charitable Deductions Under IRC §170
- Frivolous Issues Penalty Under IRC § 6673 and Related Appellate-Level Sanctions
- Civil Actions to Enforce Federal Tax Liens or to Subject Property to Payment of Tax Under IRC § 7403
- Relief from Joint and Several Liability for Spouses Under IRC § 6015