The National Taxpayer Advocate has released a report identifying the priority issues that the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) plans to address in the coming fiscal year. Key areas of focus:
- Taxpayer impact of a possible government shutdown. IRS contingency plans don’t provide for processing paper returns in the event of a shutdown. The Advocate suggests this and other matters be considered in the contingency plans.
- Tax reform and tax complexity. The TAS is continuing to work with the public on these issues and uses its “suggestion box” to solicit comments from the public. It has posted some of the comments online.
- Earned income credit. The TAS is concerned about taxpayers being able to substantiate their claims. It is reviewing proposals and research to reduce noncompliance.
- Tax-related identity theft. The problem persists despite IRS efforts to thwart it. The TAS will work with the IRS to mitigate identity theft problems.
- Innocent spouse relief. The TAS continues to advocate for the elimination of the 2-year rule for equitable relief, something the IRS has vigorously enforced. The TAS is also partnering with a domestic violence coalition to train TAS and IRS employees about helping taxpayers who are victims.
Source: IR-2011-71, 6/29/11