My chronicle of how the IRS and Tax Court affect taxpayers' daily lives.

See below for important disclosures.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Taxpayer Advocay Panel Reports on IRS Customer Service

CCH Federal Tax Weekly (Issue 35) reported on the TAP 2008 Annual Report. The TAP is a group of 101 volunteer community members appointed by the Department of the Treasury and makes recommendations for improvements.

Major recommendations include:
  • Preparer registration: TAP endorsed the regulation of taxpayers, pointing to Oregon and California showing improvements in tax preparation.
  • Installment Agreements: Recommended rasing the cap on streamlined agreements to $30,000 from $25,000 and to 72 months from 60 months.  
  • Return Processing:  Recommended that the IRS move to automated screening (scanning?) and data entry technology for processing tax returns.  The IRS still keypunches every paper-filed tax return. 
I'm not sure that expanding the streamlined IA agreements is going to help.  The IRS reported this August that most IAs default somewhere between the 12th and 24th month.  They have new measures in place to allow for a missed payment without defaulting the agreements, but it will take time to see if it will be effective. 

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Aaron Blau, E.A. is the Vice President of the Central Arizona Chapter of Enrolled Agents and a member of the Government Relations Committee of the National Association of Enrolled Agents. The opinions and ideas expressed here are in no way representative of the official position of the National Association of Enrolled Agents, Arizona Society of Enrolled Agents or the Central Arizona Chapter of Enrolled Agents.

For official comments, please e-mail NAEA Director of Communications at or Arizona Society president

"To ensure compliance with the requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that, to the extent this communication (or any attachment) addresses any tax matter, it was not written to be (and may not be) relied upon to (i) avoid tax-related penalties imposed under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promote, market or recommend to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein (or in any such attachment). In addition, nothing herein is intended to convey an expression of an opinion as to the likelihood a tax position would ultimately prevail if challenged by the IRS. This communication is intended solely for the person to whom it is addressed; no one else should rely on the tax advice provided herein. The person to whom this advice is addressed is under no obligation to keep the advice or matters related to the advice confidential."