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Daily News

Below please find daily updates pertaining to the latest in financial, business, and tax news:

Taxpayer Advocate Service Feed

Private Debt Collection Program - What You Need to Know

Tue, Aug 22, 2017

  The Internal Revenue Service recently implemented a new private debt collection program and will assign certain overdue federal tax debts to private collection agencies (PCAs). Posted on this site are some questions and answers about the program, along with a link to a sample letter you can use to tell a PCA to stop contacting you. There is also a link to the National Taxpayer Advo...

Correctible Error Authority Part 2: Why Correctible Error Authority Creates More Problems Than It Resolves

Wed, Aug 16, 2017

In my last blog, I discussed my concerns about the IRS’s current use of math and clerical error authority under IRC §§ 6213 (b) and (g). This week, I’ll take a closer look at the proposal to expand math error authority to “correctible errors,” and explain why I think Congress should not grant such expansion in two of the three instances....

Why Correctible Error Authority Raises Significant Taxpayer Rights Concerns – Part 1

Wed, Aug 09, 2017

People occasionally ask me which areas of tax administration worry me the most. There is certainly no shortage of candidates, but if I had to narrow it down, the IRS’s math and clerical error authority under IRC § 6213(b) and (g) would be right up there at the top of the list, along with the IRS correspondence examination program. In fact, I expressed my con...

NTA Nina Olson Testified on IRS FY 2018 Budget Request

Wed, Aug 09, 2017

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson testified before the Subcommittee on Financial Services on IRS FY 2018 Budget Request. Read her complete testimony....

IRS Allowable Living Expense Standards Do Not Provide Taxpayers With a Sustainable Standard of Living

Wed, Aug 02, 2017

At TAS, we help taxpayers from all walks of life. When it comes to taxpayers with tax debt, some taxpayers have the resources to pay their debt. This blog focusses on the method the IRS uses to determine the amount of basic living expenses it should take into account if a taxpayer needs to pay his or her tax debt over time.  Congress directed the IRS to make sure taxp...

IRS Frequently Asked Questions Can Be a Trap for the Unwary

Wed, Jul 26, 2017

At a recent hearing before the Subcommittee on Oversight of the Committee on Ways and Means, I was asked a seemingly simple question about what types of guidance taxpayers can rely on. Unfortunately, the answer is not simple at all. Generally speaking, there are three buckets of tax guidance: 1. Regulations – Treasury (tax) regulations are subject to a public notice-and-comment period...

TAS assistance offered at local Problem Solving Days

Tue, Jul 25, 2017

    The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) will conduct Problem Solving Day events in communities throughout the country in the coming months and year. During these events, TAS employees from a local office will be available to assist taxpayers in person with tax problems they have not been able to resolve with the IRS. Generally, TAS can assist taxpayers whose problems with the...

Private Debt Collection: Recent Debts (Part 3 of 3)

Wed, Jul 19, 2017

In an earlier blog I discussed my concern about how the IRS’s private debt collection (PDC) program affects taxpayers who are likely experiencing economic hardship. In this blog, I want to share my concern that the IRS is not making good business decisions as it implements the PDC initiative. Since 2004, Internal Revenue Code (IRC) § 6306 has authorized the IRS to ou...

Success Story: TAS Advocates for Return of Levied Proceeds

Fri, Jul 14, 2017

Every year the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) helps thousands of people with tax problems. This story is only one of many examples of how TAS helps resolve taxpayer issues. All personal details are removed to protect the privacy of the taxpayer. TAS assisted a taxpayer who had been waiting over two years for the IRS to return levied funds. The IRS levied a large amount of the taxpayer's state ...

Private Debt Collection: Hardship (Part 2 of 3)

Wed, Jul 12, 2017

I have always had concerns about outsourcing tax debts to private collection agencies (PCAs). First, I believe tax collection is an “inherently governmental function” within the meaning of section five of the 1998 FEAR Act that should be performed only by federal employees. Second, as a TAS study of the last private debt collection (PDC) initiative showed, ...