This report includes updates relative to the following topics: Office of Appeals, TFAO Change to IRS NEXT, and the IRS Get Ready 2022 Campaign for Taxpayers
As reported by Tax Chair, Stephen Mankowski, CPA, CGMA, who recently attended the monthly IRS Meeting.
Update from the Independent Office of Appeals
Virtual Meetings: The Office of Appeals has not been holding in-person conferences during the pandemic, rather they have required their staff to meet through Zoom. Taxpayers and practitioners will likely continue to use virtual conferences to communicate with the Office as they definitely allow for smoother scheduling. While some staff would prefer to move back to in-person meetings, the pandemic has restricted this for now. In anticipation of future in-person meetings, plexiglass barriers are being installed to facilitate safety.
Digital Communications: Appeals has been running a pilot program using Taxpayer Digital Communication (TDC) to allow the secure exchange of documents. Both practitioners and Appeals have been encouraged by its success so far.
Hiring: Appeals is looking to bring their staffing up to 1,600 employees through a continued hiring period to monitor the volume of work cases more efficiently and in a timely manner. Ultimately, they want taxpayers and practitioners to formulate a good opinion of their Office. For large cases, Appeals is looking to increase that department to 40 individuals. Additionally, they intend to boost back-office support; however, all hiring is subject to budgets.
Practitioner Panel: The IRS is considering creating a practitioner panel to discuss the effectiveness of the Appeals department and the taxpayer experience.
Taxpayer First Act Office Transition to IRS NEXT
The Taxpayer First Act Office (TFAO) is now called the ‘IRS NEXT Office’, with a charter to focus on both the design and implementation of a revitalized IRS and lead a service-wide change. Responsibilities include organizational redesign, recruiting, hiring, training and employee experience. Parts were spun off to the Taxpayer Experience Office (TXO) led by Ken Corbin, while training moved to the Human Capital Office. Employee experience was broadened to focus on their existing workforce, too. There is a sense of urgency for new hires, but also a desire to retain existing employees.
The goal is to have the IRS be a good place to work, with an emphasis on onboarding, workspace, tools & technology, benefits & flexibility, career path, and information access.
2022 Get Ready Campaign
This annual campaign serves to help prepare individual taxpayers for the upcoming filing season. The goal is to get the taxpayer thinking about their upcoming taxes in light of stimulus payments, child tax credits, and other factors that will impact their returns in areas that didn’t exist in previous years. The IRS will supplement its mail campaign with social media to attract the broadest audience. Gathering tax records for next year will include not only the usual forms, but also international tax, gig economy, virtual currency, Notice 1444-C (Stimulus), Letter 6419 (Child Tax Credit payments), and ITIN, where applicable.
The IRS will be encouraging taxpayers to ‘Get Banked’ meaning signing up for direct deposits. There will also be more information coming regarding Recovery Rebate Credits (RRC) and Child Tax Credits (CTC), as well as how to reconcile these. Regarding refunds, most will be issued in under 21 days. Mid-February will still be the timeframe for sending out refunds on returns with Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC).
For the 2022 filing season, the IRS is looking to change its ‘Where’s My Refund’ content on its website to include links to an FAQ section discussing the various reasons for delayed refunds.
Tax practitioners should make their clients aware that the Recover Rebate Credit (RRC) & Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) letters will be helpful in preparing their 2021 returns and ensure that the correct figures are used to hopefully prevent many of the issues that were encountered this year. The IRS is hoping to have draft versions of the letters available to practitioners prior to sending to taxpayers so that they can advise their clients about the letters being sent.
Thank you and please look for more topics in my next IRS update communications.
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.