Topics Include: IRS Highlights, Taxpayer First Office, Office of Professional Responsibility, Return Preparer Office, and Wage & Investment
Immediate Past President and current Tax Chair, Stephen Mankowski, CPA, recently attended the monthly IRS Meeting.
IRS Highlights: Services & Enforcement
Although it seems like ages ago when the CARES Act was passed, the IRS is getting ready to send an additional $9 million to taxpayers who have not filed tax returns for the past two years, since they have not yet received Economic Impact Payments (EIP). Practitioners are encouraged to spread the word so that these individuals can obtain their stimulus payments. Additional IRS updates include the following:
- The IRS continues to work on employment tax credits with Form 941 and family leave credits. They are working to get Subject Matter Experts to be available to ensure these refunds get sent.
- Regarding compliance relief for taxpayers experiencing COVID-19 hardships via the People First Initiative, audits have resumed via email and secure messaging, using cloud-based technology.
- The IRS has made many additional employees telework-capable, especially customer service representatives; some have even been provided Hot Spots when internet was not available.
- Form 1040-X can now be electronically filed to speed the tax return process.
- Collection notices were already in the print cue at the time of shutdown and updated balance due notices have been going out since June. Many replies have been sent to the IRS lockboxes, but will be resolved before follow-up notices are sent.
- The IRS is still working on its backlog of paper-filed returns. Taxpayers should go to Where’s My Refund to check their status.
Taxpayer First Office
The law’s 45 provisions have had a wide impact on how the IRS serves taxpayers and other stakeholders. The overarching goals include a good taxpayer experience, employee experience, and operational efficiencies. The program foundation is basically complete except for the reorganizational structure.
Office of Professional Responsibility
The IRS is working on implementing a program to accept electronic signatures on Form 2848, Form 8821, and several others. The taxpayer would sign Form 2848 (physically or electronically). Then the practitioner would authenticate by signing (physically or electronically), then uploading it to the IRS. The Form would then go to a Centralized Authorization File (CAF) Unit and be processed in the same manner as other forms (but not expedited). The IRS is looking at Publication 1345 and other means to authenticate, but the exact method has not yet been determined. The benefit is that practitioner would NOT have to get a ‘wet signature’ from their clients. The IRS is currently getting feedback and looking for testers.
Return Preparer Office
PTIN renewal season will open on October 15 with early renewals starting on October 9, by invitation only. The PTIN user fee will be reimplemented this year at $35.95. All continuing education courses must be completed by December 31, 2020. There are a few hundred Enrolled Agents without SSNs on their account. Letters will be sent out soon; renewal is based on the last digit of their SSN.
Wage & Investment
The IP PIN (Identity Protection PIN) is being expanded in phases. Taxpayers with Adjusted Gross Income of less than $72K should use Form 15227 to apply for an IP PIN. The IRS is also working on an in-person mechanism for taxpayers to get an IP PIN. The PIN should be received in three weeks. The IRS is also working on an ‘opt out’ program. The taxpayer will automatically get their IP PIN renewed annually via mail (or through an electronic tool). This will continue until they elect to opt out (not available yet and not available for victims of ID Theft). With the expansion, IP PIN will be available for everyone in January 2021.
Stay tuned for monthly IRS updates from NCCPAP.
The National Conference of CPA Practitioners (NCCPAP) is a professional organization comprised of Certified Public Accountants practicing in the United States. In addition to serving as a forum for education, networking, and community impact, NCCPAP also advocates for its clients. NCCPAP influences tax administration and tax policy by regularly meeting with Internal Revenue Service representatives, state taxing authorities, and elected officials. NCCPAP members represent over one million businesses and individual clients. The organization is headquartered in Woodbury, NY. For more information visit, www.NCCPAP.org.
Agency Contact Administration Contact
Francine Carb Pat Sornberger