IMRS Monthly Overview – August 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 is posted via Twitter for followers of @IRStaxpros. Sign up to receive notification.
NEW IMRS ISSUES
IMRS Issue 12-0001684 – Improper processing of overpayments on manually filed Form 1120-H
Issue: A tax practitioner stated that overpayments on Form 1120-H are not being processed as elected on the form. Although taxpayers requested that their overpayments be applied to the subsequent year, they received refunds for the overpayments.
RECENTLY CLOSED ISSUES
IMRS Issue 12-0001638 – Automated Underreporter CP2000 notices issued for USDA grants properly reported on Form 1040
Issue: Taxpayers who properly reported USDA grants on Form 1040 are receiving Automated Underreporter CP2000 notices for the grant income.
Response: When this issue was identified, we alerted the campus coordinators and they clarified the procedures for the examiners. However, AUR examiners cannot view electronic attachments that reflect a breakdown of the amount(s) reported. If AUR can't determine that the grant income was reported on Schedule F, lines 6a, 6b, 40a, 40b, or line 10 or 44, as outlined in IRM 188.8.131.52.20.1(2)a, an AUR notice is issued.
The ability to view attachments to e-filed returns is currently being tested with Modernized e-File. Unfortunately, full implementation of this technology is still several years out. Although we recognize the burden it creates for taxpayers and IRS compliance functions, taxpayers should continue to provide a timely explanation to AUR to resolve these issues.
Policy, Practice & Procedures
IMRS Issue 12-0001593 – FOIA interim letters
Issue: Tax practitioners suggested that the Freedom of Information Act interim/extension letters be revised to include a field or reference line depicting both the date of the request and the name of the taxpayer (or other identifiable information) to assist in matching the extension with the original request. Listed below is the current and suggested wording.
Current language: “I am responding your Freedom of Information Act request dated August 12, 2011, that we received on August 17, 2011.”
Recommended language as provided by the stakeholder: “I am responding your Freedom of Information Act request dated August 12, 2011 for XYZ client that we received on August 17, 2011.”
Response: Thank you for your suggestion. We do understand the benefit to tax practitioners to easily associate the response letter with their client's case, and hope that by reprogramming the letters with "In Re: <client of FOIA requester>" that the association will be easier. Please note that we considered the language you initially provided, but could not adopt it due to space issues. However, we believe the change we are making will address your concerns.
IMRS 12-0001671 – Redaction of Social Security numbers in notices and letters
Issue: Tax practitioners are requesting the redaction of Social Security numbers from all notices and letters issued by IRS to reduce the chances of identity theft. ACS letters are currently redacted but other correspondence is not.
Response: The U.S. government is working to identify ways to authenticate taxpayers without the full use of their Social Security numbers in an effort to protect citizens from identity theft. The Office of Management and Budget issued Memorandum M-07-16: Safeguarding Against and Responding to the Breach of Personally Identifiable Information in May of 2007. The memorandum requires all federal agencies to take steps to eliminate or reduce the use of SSNs in order to protect citizens from identity theft.
In response to the requirement, the IRS's Social Security Number Elimination and Reduction Program has made significant strides in eliminating or reducing the use of SSNs within our systems, forms, notices and letters where the collection or use of the SSN is not necessary. We are exploring several phased initiatives.
The first initiative - eliminating or reducing the use of SSNs on outgoing non-payment notices - has been successful. We have redacted the SSN on 46 different non-payment notices and have already mailed over 22 million of these notices to taxpayers to date. We are working diligently to eliminate the use of SSNs on additional notices and correspondence over the next few years
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.