The Annual Report to Congress creates a dialogue at the highest levels of government to address taxpayers’ problems, protect taxpayers’ rights, and ease taxpayers’ burden.
The report identifies at least 20 of the most serious problems facing taxpayers and offers recommendations to fix them. Some of the issues, like tax reform and IRS’s need to expand its various taxpayer services, affect virtually every American taxpayer. Others, like the Alternative Minimum Tax, refund delays, and tax-related identity theft, impact large groups of taxpayers.
The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), led by the National Taxpayer Advocate, is your voice at the IRS. Some of the problems discussed in this report were first identified when taxpayers came to TAS for help in resolving problems with the IRS.
TAS is an independent organization within the IRS. The National Taxpayer Advocate delivers this report directly to the tax-writing committees in Congress (the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance), with no prior review by the IRS Commissioner, the Secretary of the Treasury, or the Office of Management and Budget.
… also includes links for specific sections of the report.
Thanks to Neill for this link, which I’m putting into this post, with related comments.
January 14, 2015 at 11:23 am
Taxpayer advocate mentions the raw deal earlier OVDP victims had (me):
Offshore Voluntary Disclosure (OVD) Program Inequities. The report describes the evolution of the OVD program and the disproportionate penalties it says were often imposed, particularly with respect to unrepresented taxpayers. The IRS changed the streamlined program in 2014 in ways that allow many taxpayers to pay lower penalties. However, the new rules do not allow taxpayers who already had entered into closing agreements with the IRS at higher penalty rates to amend those agreements. Therefore, taxpayers who are the most deserving of leniency because they were the first to acknowledge they had failed to comply with foreign account reporting requirements ultimately are paying substantially greater penalties than taxpayers who waited until later to acknowledge their noncompliance. Among other things, the report recommends that the IRS revisit this decision.
January 14, 2015 at 11:45 am
The TAS section of OVDP is very reasonable. What they propose could ease the burden of a lot of people (new balance limits indexed to inflation). Changing the closed agreements isn’t going to happen given what we know from the OVDP doc dump. They wanted the money and drove people with uncertainty (that did exist) to accept the deal.
January 14, 2015 at 12:21 pm
Thanks for the link, Neill. This should be a post.
Two areas (so far) to review for importance to US expats are the sections on Taxpayer Rights and Legislative Recommendation #6 (that you’ve identified), FOREIGN ACCOUNT REPORTING: Legislative Recommendations to Reduce the Burden of Filing a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) and Improve the Civil Penalty Structure.