IMRS Monthly Overview – December 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
Policy, Practice, Procedure
IMRS Issue 13-0001734 – Recommendation to reduce copies of notices to representative
Tax practitioners suggest that when a Form 2848 is on file with a check mark in the box to receive copies of notices and communications sent to taxpayers that the Service consider issuing only one copy of the notice to the representative, as opposed to sending two copies of the identical notice for joint clients. This should reduce paper and postage costs for the government.
IMRS Issue 13-0001736 – EFTPS password
Tax practitioners would like to know why the IRS mails the password via paper when they register online for EFTPS.
RECENTLY CLOSED ISSUES
Policy, Practice, Procedures
IMRS Issue 12-0001617 – Resolving potential identity theft cases upon receipt of Letter 4883C
Issue: Tax practitioners are experiencing difficulties communicating with the IRS after receiving Letter 4883C on decedent accounts. They request that the IRS revise their procedures to allow authorized third parties to address the receipt of Letter 4883C when the taxpayer dies after filing the return.
Additional practitioner concerns related to the Letter 4883C process are:
- The long wait times to speak with a representative after receipt of Letter 4883C
- Customer service representatives advising authorized practitioners that, despite having valid 2848s on file, the account cannot be discussed with any party other than the taxpayer
Response: The Taxpayer Protection Program processes returns flagged as potential identity theft cases. When a return is flagged as a potential ID theft case, a Letter 4883C is sent to the address on the return requesting that the taxpayer call. When the taxpayer calls, the customer service representatives go through both basic and high-risk disclosure questions to ascertain the identity of the caller and confirm that the taxpayer filed the return in question. If the identity and return are verified, the return is forwarded for posting.
The high-risk disclosure questions vary by taxpayer and are based on the taxpayer's returns as well as income documents from prior years. As a result, if a third party calls on behalf of a taxpayer, the person may not have all the prior year information needed to answer the high-risk disclosure questions.
However, in keeping with the IRM, even though customer service representatives cannot disclose any information, they can receive information from third parties. Also, if the taxpayer is on the call with the third party, the CSR can proceed as normal. This process helps prevent ID thieves from claiming to be the taxpayer. The CSR must ask questions regarding prior year information, since the return in question may be false, and information return processing documents (e.g., W-2s) are not fully available during the earlier portion of the processing year.
If a person with a Power of Attorney calls, then the CSR can receive and disclose information. However, since POAs may not have all the information needed to respond to the high-risk disclosure questions, they are encouraged (but not required) to have the taxpayer on the phone with them. If the taxpayer is deceased, the caller must verify that they are entitled to the refund of the deceased according to the guidelines in Form 1310, Statement of Person Claiming Refund Due a Deceased Taxpayer.
A Power of Attorney expires upon the death of the person who granted the power. If the taxpayer is deceased, the POA is invalid. In order for a POA to continue to represent a deceased taxpayer, the deceased taxpayer's representative must execute a new Form 2848.
IMRS Issue 12-0001709 – Request for civil penalty transcripts via e-Services
Issue: Tax practitioners would like the e-Services Transcript Delivery System enhanced to provide users with the ability to obtain civil penalty transcripts.
Response: E-Services is aware of this issue and will address it in the 2014 enhancements.
Communication and Outreach
IMRS Issue 09-0001135 – Agriculture tax deposit requirements/reminders in Spanish
Issue: Stakeholder liaisons in California and the Midwest identified a need for employment tax information in Spanish for the agricultural industry.
IMRS Issue 12-0001612 – Veterans disability retirement
Issue: IRS Examination employees found that Veterans Administration (VA) retirement income was frequently reported incorrectly. They requested that the IRS and the VA work together to find a vehicle (an article or fact sheet, for example) to communicate to veterans the proper way to report their retirement income and to avoid unscrupulous preparers.
Response: Representatives from various functions within IRS and the VA discussed this issue. The following articles addressing military disability are now available on www.IRS.gov: Special Tax Considerations for Veterans and FAQs Regarding Filing Amended Returns for Disabled Veterans. The IRS also sent these articles to the VA.
Forms, Publications and Products
IMRS Issue 13-0001725 – Draft forms on IRS.gov
Issue: Stakeholders are having difficulty finding draft forms on IRS.gov. It is not intuitive to look under the Payroll Professionals Tax Center. Stakeholders recommend having the link on the Tax Professionals page or under the Forms and Pubs tab.
Response: The IRS specifically excluded the draft tax forms pick list from the search results so that taxpayers will not accidentally land there and think they are downloading current forms. Tax professionals who would like to review draft forms may do so at www.irs.gov/draftforms.
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.