Issues Closed in Calendar year 2015 Sorted by Subject
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Communication and Outreach
IMRS Issue 15-0002079 - Request for screen shots for online payment agreement presentations
Issue: Practitioners contacted stakeholder liaison due to difficulties both they and their clients were having using the online payment agreement application. Stakeholder liaison requested an updated presentation with screen shots for outreach and to help liaisons answer questions.
Response: A presentation with screen shots is available for stakeholder liaison to use for presentations with external stakeholders. In addition, a video is available on irsvideos.gov, Online Payment Agreement Introduction.
Policy, Practice & Procedures
IMRS Issue 15-0002077 - Incorrect transcript received when properly requesting a Master File Transaction Request of Account (MFTRA) transcript through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
Issue: New guidance for requesting specific tax module transcripts states the Return and Income Verification Services (RAIVS) office handles these requests. However, practitioners using the new procedures are not receiving the proper transcripts.
Response: Procedures to provide MFTRA transcripts are in the IRM 220.127.116.11.6 (5), Processing Requests for Tax Return/Return Information.
IRS transferred responsibility for handling these requests from the Disclosure Office to the RAIVS office. Because certain RAIVS sites do not receive these requests often and the process is new, RAIVS sites received several reminders on how to respond properly to MFTRA requests.
IMRS Issue 15-0002062 - Payment processing time line when using Direct Pay
Issue: Practitioners requested clarification of posting time line for payments made through Direct Pay after 8 p.m. Eastern. Specifically, when a payment is made after 8 p.m. EDT, is it considered submitted on that day?
Response: Currently, for electronic payments taxpayers get credit for the date the government receives their payment, not for the date they submitted the payment. If a taxpayer submits a payment on Monday after 8 p.m. ET, the earliest payment date they can select will be Wednesday. That date will post with their payment.
IMRS Issue 15-0002059 - Direct Pay not for use by third party providers to make payments
Issue: Practitioners would like to know whether they can use Direct Pay on behalf of their clients to make their estimated tax payments.
Response: Direct Pay is not set up for third party providers to make payments. Direct Pay is for individual taxpayers to make payments from their checking or savings accounts. Individuals are required to verify their identities with their filing histories before making a payment. Unlike EFTPS, this payment method does not require prior enrollment. IRS will update IRM 3.17.277 on electronic payments to show Direct Pay is for individuals and not for third party payments. IRS will circulate the message with IRM authors.
EFTPS is a free service offered by the Department of the Treasury. EFTPS accepts payments from third party providers through bulk and batch provider programs. Bulk providers can transmit 1,000 or more payments on their clients’ behalf. Batch providers can transmit two or more payments on their clients’ behalf. Third party bulk/batch providers can enroll taxpayers to remit payments for them. Taxpayers can enroll in EFTPS and make their own payments.
IMRS Issue 15-0002054 - Use of Form 4868 as a payment voucher
Issue: CPA’s client received a letter from IRS stating the IRS disallowed her 2014 Form 4868 because IRS received it late.
However, the practitioner timely filed the extension electronically, and the client sent her payment with a paper copy of Form 4868 per the forms instructions.
Response: IRS Forms and Publications will clarify Form 4868 instructions to indicate how taxpayers should use the form as a voucher when they file original extensions electronically.
IMRS Issue 15-0002052 - Dual notice of address changes on employment tax accounts
Issue: Stakeholders are questioning why they’re receiving notices of address change when they haven’t changed their addresses.
Response: Beginning January 2014, Public Law 113-76, Consolidated Appropriations Act, Provision 106 requires the IRS to issue dual address change notices on accounts with open employment tax filing requirements. Any address change made to an account with an open employment tax filing requirement will generate a notice.
The IRS will also issue these notices for any variation from the address of record for the business entity, e.g., interchanging "Street" for "St."
For additional information, contact your local stakeholder liaison or visit these pages on IRS.gov:
IMRS Issue 15-0002046 - Automated method to obtain a payoff on a taxpayer account
Issue: Is there a way to get a payoff figure without speaking to a customer service representative?
Response: Yes. Call the number on your balance due notice and follow the prompts to access your account information. You will need to enter your Taxpayer Identification Number and use the caller identification number from the notice to establish a PIN. Taxpayers with a PIN can use a touch-tone phone to receive:
- A current or future payoff amount (within 120 days).
- The location for mailing payment.
- An option to make payment arrangements through the Voice Balance Due phone application. The option is also available on the general toll-free number, 800-829-1040.
IMRS Issue 15-0002039 - Request for article about requirement for licensing jurisdiction on Form 2848
Issue: Practitioners indicate IRS is rejecting their Forms 2848 for failure to identify IRS as the licensing jurisdiction on the form. The new revision of Form 2848 (7/20/14) requires enrolled agents to enter IRS as the licensing jurisdiction in Part II, "Licensing jurisdiction (state) or other licensing authority (if applicable)." However, practitioners are not aware of the new requirement and recommend IRS provide information in e-News for Tax Professionals.
Response: IRS published, Avoid Power of Attorney Filing Errors, in the 2015- 23 edition of e-News for Tax Professionals. The article referenced information in Common Reasons for Power of Attorney (POA) Rejection, which addresses this topic.
IMRS Issue 15-0002026 - PTIN requirement for receiving assistance through Practitioner Priority Service (PPS)
Issue: Circular 230 attorney has support employees who are all listed appointees on Form 8821 because they’re members of his firm. The staff doesn't prepare any returns and only gathers information, such as transcripts etc. In the past, his staff would call PPS for account related matters to obtain transcripts, verify payments, etc. However, based on the new PPS change in service scope, IRS employees are stating that his staff members must provide their own PTIN numbers and not that of the firm’s owner. The practitioner has reviewed IRM 18.104.22.168 on the change in PPS scope of service and feels the chart and cautionary notes are causing confusion. As a result, PPS assistors are not providing the information needed to assist callers with valid Forms 8821 with account-related inquiries. He would like the IRM revised with clear guidance.
Response: To obtain assistance via PPS, the caller must be a tax practitioner actively assisting the taxpayer. This requirement extends to employees of a named business entity as the appointee or a named individual as the appointee on Form 8821, Tax Information Authorization. In both cases, the caller must have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) to obtain assistance unless the caller is a Circular 230 representative, i.e., attorney, certified public accountant, enrolled agent, enrolled actuary or an enrolled retirement plan agent, and provides PPS with this information.
The chart in IRM 22.214.171.124(10) is accurate. PPS will continue to follow the procedures currently in place. Support staff for a Circular 230 representative does not qualify for PPS assistance unless the support staff member calling has their own PTIN.
IMRS Issue 15-0002022 - Maintaining offer in compromise (OIC) campus envelopes with case file
Issue: A practitioner recommends that OIC campuses retain envelopes with case files or, at a minimum, scan envelopes to capture postmark dates.
Response: Campus Support in the Brookhaven and Memphis campuses receive incoming mail for the OIC program. Campus Support extracts mail and retains envelopes by following procedures in IRM 126.96.36.199, Extraction of Envelope Contents. Campus Support includes all envelopes used for initial offer receipts and correspondence during the pendency of the offer in the OIC case file. Offers sent to Appeals include the entire case file with envelopes.
IMRS Issue 15-0002000 - Top 10 things to ask your accountant
Issue: At a recent event, industry stakeholders indicated they are not interested in learning about taxes; they prefer to leave that to their accountants. However, the stakeholders requested a webinar or product that would help them have effective conversations with their accountants.
Response: The IRS developed an audio webcast, Ten Things to Ask Your Accountant, and streamed it March 31, 2015.
IMRS Issue 15-0001992 - Disclaimer on Get Transcript page
Issue: Practitioner suggested adding a disclaimer on the Get Transcript page on IRS.gov or in the Get Transcript FAQs indicating practitioners are not allowed to request transcripts for their clients whether or not they have a power of attorney in hand or on the Centralized Authorization File.
Response: The Get Transcript FAQs page now includes the following information:
Q. Can a taxpayer or practitioner with a power of attorney for another taxpayer use Get Transcript Online to request a transcript for the other taxpayer?
A. No. You may submit Form 4506T by following the instructions on the form. Practitioners can use e-Services Transcript Delivery System, if their power of attorney already exists in the IRS Centralized Authorization File.
IMRS Issue 14-0001981 - Call routing for new/revised installment agreements
Issue: Taxpayers calling to initiate or revise installment agreements not meeting streamlined criteria were not connected to a customer service representative who could help them. The suggestion is to automatically route the caller to a trained assistor without transferring the call.
Response: The suggestion identified that callers with balances due of >$50,000 required an additional transfer before they reached someone who could help them. Based on feedback received, the IRS reviewed programming and determined this is not how the system should work. Effective Jan. 12, 2015, the IRS is happy to report changes to routing; as long as the taxpayer or practitioner provides the taxpayer’s social security number, the calls should route to agents who can help them.
IMRS Issue 14-0001974 - Defaulting taxpayers installment agreements for refusal to provide information when taxpayers’ didn’t receive a request for the information
Issue: Practitioners state clients are receiving CP523, Intent to Terminate Your Installment Agreement, because they didn’t respond to requests for additional/updated financial information. However, the clients haven’t received initial requests for information.
Response: Thank you for bringing this issue to the attention of the Service. Installment agreements are subject to periodic financial reviews. The first step of the financial review process is mailing Notice CP 522, Notice of Periodic Review of Your Current Installment Agreement, to taxpayers and instructing them to contact the Service to provide updated financial statements.
During review of this issue, the Service found it did not issue some of these notices. The Service took steps to ensure it issues these notices in the future. If you received a Notice CP 523, indicating you didn’t provide an updated financial statement, please contact the Service at 866-897-4178 to complete the financial review process. Before calling the Service, please complete Form 433-F, Collection Information Statement, which is available on IRS.gov. Enter Form 433-F in the search box on the home page of the site. We apologize for the inconvenience this error has caused.
IMRS Issue 14-0001968 - Preparation of Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, for a late established estate
Issue: A practitioner requested information on how to prepare Form 2848, so an estate filing Form 1041 with an employer identification number can get information returns filed with a social security number. In the practitioner’s scenario, the taxpayer died in 2011, the estate opened in 2013 and the practitioner needed information returns for 2012. Form 2848 instructions don’t address this situation.
Response: The IRS will accept Form 2848 with two taxpayer identification numbers, if the taxpayer is an estate and the Form 2848 includes Form 1040 issues. The Form 2848 should include both the decedent’s SSN and EIN (if estate has an EIN). You will list both Forms 1040 and 1041, as well as the tax periods, in the tax matters field of Form 2848. Generally, in the case of a deceased individual, enter the name and SSN (or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) of the decedent as well as the name, title, and address of the decedent’s executor or personal representative on Form 2848. However, in the case of an estate, enter the name of the decedent and the EIN for the estate (if assigned) as well as the name, title, and address of the decedent’s executor or personal representative on Form 2848.
IMRS Issue 14-0001964 - The use of Business Rule F2555-005 in a subsequent year
Issue: As this business rule now stands, no individual taxpayer who qualifies under the Bona Fide Resident Test and uses a valid Date Bona Fide Residence that began after the first day of the tax year can electronically file Form 2555.
Business Rule F2555-005-02 doesn't negate electronic filing for taxpayers qualifying for the BFR test. This rule simply makes certain that they meet and not abuse the time period test. If taxpayers cannot meet the time period requirement, they cannot file electronically. Each year a client is trying to claim has to be proven on its' own merit.
Response: The IRS agrees the rule needs clarification and plans to update it for tax year 2016.
IMRS Issue 14-0001939 - Change EFTPS to include option for civil penalty payments
Issue: A practitioner asked to add "civil penalty payments" to the EFTPS drop-down menu. The practitioner recommended the following alternatives if it can’t be added:
Reversing the wording to reflect 8488 Penalty Assessment/Summary of U.S. Information Returns
Explaining how to make payments for civil penalties in the payment instruction book, FAQs or other information for taxpayers.
Response: IRS has not been able to make the change in EFTPS for civil penalty payments. We still hope to make this change if resources allow, but it is not in the near future. We will request adding more details on making these types of payments to the next update of the payment instruction booklet. IRS will add a civil penalties option to IRS Direct Pay for individuals using this electronic payment application. IRS Direct Pay is not available for business payments.
IMRS Issue 13-0001804 - Online tool to request extension of time to file or submit payment
Issue: Received a request for an online tool that would give taxpayers and authorized representatives' options to submit an extension to file, submit a payment and print a confirmation of the transaction.
Response: Thank you for your suggestion. Individual taxpayers can file extensions online using IRS.gov.
All electronic payment channels have an automatic extension built in that provides individual taxpayers with additional time to file. Making a payment through the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), credit/debit card or Direct Pay provides the taxpayer with an automatic six-month extension. A taxpayer who makes their payment using one of these electronic channels does not need to file a Form 4868 to receive the extension of time to file.
Business taxpayers have limited options for an extension when paying electronically. The EFTPS system does not provide an automatic extension for all of the forms listed on Form 7004, Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File Certain Business Income Tax, Information, and Other Returns. Not all forms listed on Form 7004 have a payment associated with the return. It will take additional development to add more forms to EFTPS for an automatic extension.