IMRS Monthly Overview – February 2012
The IMRS Monthly Overview provides synopses of some of the issues that were received and/or closed by the Issue Management Resolution System staff during the past month. The Monthly Overview is intended to inform the public about the work of IMRS, and highlights the issues that we think would be of most interest to external stakeholders. When the Monthly Overview is posted to IRS.gov, a tweet goes out to Twitter followers of @IRStaxpros. Please sign up if you would like to be notified.
Policy, Practice & Procedures
IMRS Issue 12-0001558 – Double reporting of payments made from the Medicare/ Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Program
Issue: IRS guidance indicates that both a F1099-MISC and F1099-G should be issued for the same payment. The practitioner sees this as double reporting and is unclear how to prepare the returns for the parties involved.
IMRS Issue 11-0001496 – Assessment statute expiration date / collection statute expiration date requests to Practitioner Priority Service
Issue: A tax practitioner with a valid power of attorney on file contacted the PPS requesting the collection statute expiration date for his client's account. The assister refused to provide the information because the IRM states that if the sole purpose of a call is to obtain the ASED or the CSED (and not any other account related information), the ASED/CSED will not be supplied.
Response: We reviewed this issue and recently changed our procedures. Assistors on the PPS telephone line are now able to release ASED/CSED information when a valid POA is on file, regardless of whether the caller requests any other account related information. The official IRM 220.127.116.11.4(17) regarding this issue will be updated by Oct. 1, 2012.
IMRS Issue 11-0001525 – Form 2828 processing delays
Issue: Practitioners are concerned that it may be taking more than 10 days for the Centralized Authorization File to process Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative. As a result, they would like the IRS to explore the feasibility of the following three suggestions:
Question 1: Consider allowing IRS employees and practitioners to scan Form 2848 and submit directly to the CAF unit.
Question 2: Modify the IRM to reduce the timeframe for processing e-Services disclosure authorizations to at least three to five days. This would serve as an incentive to use this method.
Question 3: Finally, modify the IRM to reduce the overall timeframe to five days since resubmitting the form to the Practitioner Priority Service, Automated Collection System, etc is burdensome and costly to both practitioners and the government.
Response to Question 1: The IRS CAF Unit is not in a position to receive scanned Forms 2848 from IRS employees or practitioners. The input of the scanned authorization would still be a manual process. All authorizations are processed in order of receipt based on first in and first out. Scanning the authorization will not shorten the processing time. IRS continues to pursue e-Fax, which will be a more efficient option for submitting authorizations to the CAF unit.
Response to Question 2: When authorizations are submitted through the disclosure authorization application within e-Services, the CAF is updated immediately. Timeframes mentioned in the IRM relate to paper (fax and mail) processing. Changing the timeframes established in the IRM will not decrease the processing time for paper authorizations since it is based on the volume of authorizations received. To expedite processing of an authorization, the practitioner should submit the authorization using the DA application. DA submissions provide real-time (immediate) acknowledgement of accepted applications. Practitioners may contact the IRS when they receive confirmation of the accepted authorization. PPS assistors must verify that the IRS has an authorization on record. Please refer to IRM 18.104.22.168(1), Authentication and Disclosure Guidelines. The PPS assistor must require a faxed authorization before disclosing any account information if the authorization is not recorded. Refer to IRM 22.214.171.124.3, Obtaining Faxed Authorizations
Response to Question 3: The CAF unit processes all receipts on a first in/first out basis in the shortest amount of time possible based on existing inventory and available staff. Processing may take up to 10 days during periods of increased inventory. The IRM was updated in 2011 to reflect a reasonable processing timeframe consistent with available resources.
Policy, Practice & Procedures
IMRS Issue 12-0001538 – Form 1040NR and Form W-7 processing by certifying acceptance agent
Issue: A tax practitioner had two separate issues with respect to the services provided at the local Taxpayer Assistance Center office.
Question1: The tax practitioner was concerned about long wait times at the TAC office and the inability to get bulk copies of 1040NR returns stamped, even when accompanied by payment. TAC employees insisted that the practitioner provide a transmittal list of all returns to stamp. The practitioner is concerned that this will not be sufficient for clients who must provide a stamped filed copy to their home country tax authorities to prove foreign taxes were paid in order to claim the applicable home country tax credit.
Question 2: The tax practitioner stated that the TAC office refused to accept tax returns because photocopies of identity documents were not submitted. The practitioner believes the documents are not required because she submitted the W-7 as a certifying acceptance agent. The ITIN application must be filed with tax returns for taxpayers without tax ID numbers. When a W-7 is completed, it is either submitted to IRS with a passport or other identity documents OR it is submitted to a CAA who reviews the identity documents and signs off on the W-7, which then serves as a certificate of accuracy.
Response to Question 1: Per IRM 126.96.36.199.2(3), the IRS will forward stamped copies or a transmittal list as soon as possible when the TAC is unable to assist the practitioner while in the office.
Response to Question 2: Per IRM 188.8.131.52.2, when a CAA attempts to file Forms W-7 with a TAC, the assistor should accept the forms and educate the CAA regarding Revenue Procedure 2006-10. This Revenue Procedure states: "(4) Procedures for submitting TIN application forms: An acceptance agent shall agree to submit promptly the TIN application forms or approved substitute forms (together with the required documentation for ITINs or the supplementary statement, if required, for EINs) to the IRS at the mailing address specified in the agreement.” Although the CAA is not required to attach the documentation, they are required to mail the application to ITIN Operations in Austin, TX within five business days of completion (Section 4.04 of the CAA agreement).
NOTE: Current and previous reports are also available on this site. The monthly overviews are posted for the prior two years through the current month. You can also access reports for issues closed in prior years on the same page.
We invite you to raise your issues/concerns with your local stakeholder liaison.