February 2020 IRS NPL

By NCCPAP Staff posted 02-19-2020 08:56 PM

  

Topics Include: Taxpayer First Act, New Advisory Group for Foreclosure Notices, and IRS Vision 2020.

Immediate Past President and current Tax Chair, Stephen Mankowski, CPA, recently attended the February 2020 IRS NPL meeting.

At a Glance Updates
  • SECURE Act: With the 10-year rule on inherited IRA, several charities are pushing for donations from these IRAs to mitigate the tax burden.
  • Filing Season 2020: “Avoid the Rush” communications will be coming soon from the IRS.
  • Updated Publications: The IRS Services Guide (5136) and many other publications, including the Affordable Care Act (5187) and Tax Reform Basics (5307) have been updated and are available on the irs.gov website.

Taxpayer First Act Office (TFAO)
The TFAO continues to hold its listening sessions at various parts of the country, as well as brief the US House Ways & Means and Senate Finance committees. The overall feedback is that much is actually working at the IRS. The initial fear was that there was a complete overhaul needed, but this initiative is more about tweaking than a complete overhaul. On July 1, TFAO will issue their first report on the three initial provisions—operating support, enforcement, and customer services. TFAO is looking to share their direction with practitioner groups, as well as employees, to work on ensuring their buy-in. You can reach out to them at tfao@irs.gov.

Consolidated Advisory Group Lien Certificates & Non-Judicial Foreclosure Notices

The IRS has created a new unit to deal with specialty collection issues, such as Federal Tax Liens, called the Collection Advisory Group. This unit deals in cases where full payment to the IRS is not anticipated. Previously there were 25-27 advisory groups around the country and now are centralized into one unit.

The contact information is:
IRS Advisory Consolidated Receipts Unit
7940 Kentucky Drive | Stop 2850F
Florence, KY 41042
Phone: 859.594.6090
Fax: 844.201.8382

Introduction/2020 Vision
The IRS deals with over 60M tax returns with 20K employees. It has been difficult working on enforcement and compliance with limited staff and lower audit coverage. The IRS is actively hiring and they need to get the word out. So far, they have hired over 850 service representatives for collections and will hire upwards of 1000 seasonal employees. They are focusing on six areas of improvements:
  1. Strengthening compliance activities
  2. Improving operation efficiencies
  3. Maintaining a taxpayer focus
  4. Ensuring awareness and a collective understanding
  5. Leveraging technology
  6. Developing their workforce
Within enforcement, they need to make sure that it’s appropriate, with a balance between service and enforcement. The IRS collects 95% of federal taxes; employment taxes comprise more than 70% of that figure. Regarding leveraging technology and analytics, some of the technology has been around; others are being tested in pilot stages.

For collections, the Automated Collection System (ACS) call centers are adding secure text chats in Brookhaven, Jacksonville, and Detroit, as well as Philadelphia later this year. The taxpayer can opt-in to the program and Power of Attorney can be sent via text chat. In 2019, 122K chats were in pilot, compared with 40K in 2018. It has also been popular with employees.

For exams, secure email was added in a pilot program to allow email communications with an IRS Representative. In January, 50K invitations were sent, but only 5,500 have opted into the pilot. One additional advantage is that the taxpayer is dealing with one representative, rather than multiple. There has been 85-90% satisfaction. In Brookhaven, there is a waiting list for employees waiting to go into the pilot.

The IRS is working with IT to roll out secure email to small business/self employed and large business and international by end of the year. This will be implemented through a separate email platform.

Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC)
Provision 1403 requires the IRS to provide notification of closure of a TAC 90 days before the closure date, compared with 60 days previously. The extra 30 days gives the IRS and the public more notice. The IRS reaches out to the local area and uses social media, partner websites and congressional offices to help communicate a closing.


The next NPL meeting is scheduled for March 19, 2020.


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