By Jason Bramwell
The Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC) made several recommendations on a broad array of issues and concerns regarding tax administration in its annual report released on November 20.
The purpose of the twenty-four-member IRSAC, comprised of individuals from the tax profession and academia communities, is to provide an organized public forum for senior IRS executives and representatives of the public to discuss relevant tax administration issues. The advisory group reviews existing tax policy and recommends policies regarding both existing and emerging tax issues.
Organized into four subgroups – Wage and Investment (W&I), Small Business/Self-Employed (SB/SE), Large Business and International (LB&I), and the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) – the IRSAC selects issues for its annual report that the group's members have spent substantial time on during four working sessions and numerous conference calls throughout the year.
"Members of the IRSAC devote significant amounts of their own time to provide us with valuable feedback regarding current issues of tax administration", Acting IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel said in a written statement. "We appreciate their important contribution."
Based on its findings and discussions, the IRSAC made several recommendations in its 139-page 2013 Public Report, including the following:
- The IRS needs sufficient funding to operate efficiently, provide timely and useful guidance to taxpayers, and enforce current law so respect for the American voluntary tax system is maintained.
- The IRS should continue to expand voluntary correction programs to facilitate taxpayers' self-reporting prior year noncompliance.
- Reduce processing time for Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative.
- Review the transcript request policy for the Practitioner Priority Service (PPS) toll-free line.
- Risk-assess large taxpayers.
- Schedule M-3, Net Operating (Loss) Reconciliation for Corporations with Total Assets of $10 Million or More.
- Implement strategies to increase use of online payment agreements.
- Make modifications to Notice CP2030.
- Provide guidance to practitioners regarding professional obligations.
- Treasury Department Circular 230 enrollment of former IRS employees.
"Tax administration is enhanced with the promulgation of clear, concise rules and regulations and readily available assistance for taxpayers and tax professionals. These factors reduce taxpayers' compliance burdens, allowing resources to be used for more productive activities", the IRSAC stated in the report. "The IRSAC commends the IRS for continuing to seek ways to improve taxpayer service while reducing taxpayer burden by adding new and improved technology."