This report covers the first IRS Liaison meeting for the year and includes updates regarding the 2022 tax season, such as improving communications, encouraging online access, and Chatbot & Voicebot additions.
As reported by Tax Chair, Stephen Mankowski, CPA, CGMA, who recently attended the January IRS Meeting.
Encouraging Online Access & New Error Codes for EITC & ACTC in 2022
The IRS’s focus for 2022 is to help the taxpayer and the industry while ensuring the safety of IRS employees. They are urging taxpayers to file early, but need to ensure that all information, including the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) and Economic Impact Payments (EIP), is received. However, taxpayers will need the ACTC & EIP letters to accurately file their returns. The initial round of ACTC letters (#6419) were mailed on December 14, before the December ACTC payments were sent. Taxpayers are urged to verify the data via the IRS ACTC portal.
The IRS is encouraging e-filing with direct deposit for refunds, as this is the fastest route for taxpayers to receive their refunds. If taxes are due, they recommend paying the balance electronically to avoid the processing issues that occurred last filing season. If possible, taxpayers should start by accessing their online accounts. Where’s My Refund continues to be the best way to track the status of a tax refund.
For EITC & ACTC refunds, they are expected to be paid by 3/1. Economic Impact Payment #3, Letter 6475, will be sent to verify the payment amount; incorrect amounts could result in additional processing of tax returns and refunds. For 2022, there are 5 new error resolution codes that will allow the cases to be resolved much more quickly—the codes cover childcare credits and economic impact payments.
New seasonal employees are being shifted between administration and processing of returns. Phone volumes are expected to remain at record levels. 57% have used automated callback when offered.
Updates from the Taxpayer Experience Office
The taxpayer experience encompasses all interactions between the taxpayers and the IRS. Obviously, funding is a key component of this plan.
The IRS has already begun expanding online accounts for taxpayers, tax professionals and business accounts. Taxpayer education is also a component of the Act. The ability to get and share information is key—and easier access is a main goal. For the IRS, this could mean two-way messaging, live assistance, AI Chatbots, and other means that can be offered in a secure environment.
Advanced Child Tax Credit Payments
Letter 6419, the reconciliation statement for ACTC payments, is available in both English & Spanish. Letters should have already been mailed. Taxpayers can also log in to their online account to perform the reconciliation, as it will have the most up to date information necessary to file their taxes. The IRS may require Form 8867, Paid Preparer's Due Diligence Checklist, to be attached even if there is no amount on line 12.
There is currently legislation in Congress to extend ACTC payments into 2022. Nothing has passed yet, but the IRS is poised to issue payments quickly if that occurs.
Text, Chat, and Bot Updates
Text chat, which enables taxpayers to interact with the IRS without holding online, had a volume of 1.2 million last November. Average time on the chat was 6 minutes and 21 seconds for an unauthenticated line. The resolution rate is 74% when the taxpayer is able to provide needed documents.
To further improve service levels, Chatbot was introduced on 12/21 and Voicebot on 1/7. The bots allow the taxpayer to make a one-time payment by following the provided links; the payment is not made on the bot itself. NEW: In 2022, the Chatbot will be able to set up an installment arrangement once the phone line is authenticated. The taxpayer will also be able to request transcript, payments, and balances. Both Voicebot and Chatbot have the ability to transfer a taxpayer back to an IRS assister, if needed. Note that these bot features are only available for individuals, not for businesses or tax professionals. The taxpayer will need to be logged into their account to be eligible for these bots.
To wrap up this month’s report, the 180-day extension is permanently replacing the 120-day extension!
Please look for my next update following the February meeting.
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.