Every summer, the Taxpayer Advocate releases one of two annual reports to Congress. The summer report is the “Annual Objectives Report” which seeks to identify and work on priority issues for the upcoming Fiscal Year. The Taxpayer Advocate, Nina Olson, had done a good job for years trying to look out for the people, especially the the IRS being in such a tumultuous state recently.
This year’s report had three top priorities:
1) Long-Term IRS Strategic Planning and Taxpayer Service
The NTA expresses concern that the IRS continues to view itself primarily as an enforcement agency, with taxpayer service receiving less emphasis. As the IRS undertakes the development of a concept of operations, the NTA urges the IRS to place primary emphasis on “meet[ing] the needs of the overwhelming majority of taxpayers who are trying to comply with the tax laws.”
2) Assisting Victims of Identity Theft-Related Refund Fraud
Taxpayer service also failed for victims of identity thieves—as the problem has grown worse and more IRS filters are catching more potentially fraudulent returns, victims often have to wait a half year or more to receive their refunds.
3) Administration of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)
This past tax year added the challenge of dealing with the new provisions under the ACA–the Premium Tax Credit (PTC) and the Individual Shared Responsibility Payment (ISRP). The upcoming year will see more complexity, and TAS will focus on training its case advocates to better assist taxpayers, notably on ACA collection activities and the Employer Shared Responsibility provision.
In related topics, reflecting on the recently completed filing season, Olson states the IRS ran a generally successful filing season under difficult circumstances, but maintains that there was still a group of taxpayers for whom the filing season was “the worst in memory.”
You can read the full report here: