The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee voted June on 11 to cut the IRS budget by $838 million (7.7 percent), continuing a multi-year decline in IRS funding.
"The tax system is breaking down, and these funding cuts mandated by Congress are a big part of the problem," said NSA President Marilyn Niwao, a CPA and attorney. "IRS customer service is at an all-time low, and tax practitioners cannot get timely responses from the IRS for questions we pose on behalf of our clients because the IRS cannot afford the staff it needs to answer the phones."
The IRS already has a Taxpayer Bill of Rights, but NSA officials note that this does not address the many challenges that tax practitioners face when preparing returns for the 60 percent of U.S. taxpayers who hire them to prepare their tax returns.
The NSA Tax Practitioners Bill of Rights includes the following:
1. The Right to Have Tax Laws and Rules Passed in a Timely Manner, including
a. The right to have tax laws affecting the current tax year enacted no later than September 1 of that year
b. The right to have IRS forms reflecting any new tax laws for the current year available no later than October 1 of that year.
2. The Right to Quality Service from the IRS:
a. The right to have telephone calls answered within 15 minutes, on a practitioner-only hotline, staffed by competent/knowledgeable employees.
b. The right to have taxpayer correspondence answered within 20 days.
c. The right to have any collection action on the taxpayer's account frozen while the IRS is considering a taxpayer's timely filed response to IRS collection activity.
d. The right to have one IRS representative deal with a tax issue from start to finish until the issue is resolved.
e. The right to request a supervisor be involved in resolving a matter if the initiating IRS representative is unwilling or unable to resolve an issue.
f. The right for practitioners with Practitioner Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs) to communicate electronically with the IRS on taxpayer matters in a secure manner.
3. The Right to Practice without Undue IRS Demands during Tax Filing Season:
a. The right to have an IRS audit moratorium during the three weeks immediately before major tax deadlines such as March 15, April 15, September 15 and October 15 of each year.
b. The right to have an IRS moratorium on collection actions or collection information requests during the three weeks immediately before major tax deadlines such as March 15, April 15, September 15, October 15 of each year.
c. The right to have an IRS moratorium on planned software maintenance and computer downtime periods during the three weeks immediately before major tax deadlines such as March 15, April 15, September 15, October 15 of each year.
For more information, visit www.nsacct.org.Last modified on Wednesday, 08 July 2015