Taxpayer Advocate Annual Report

National Taxpayer Advocate annual report to Congress identifies priorities and issues for upcoming year [IR 2008-87]:

An annual report on the priority challenges and issues facing the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate (OTA) was delivered to Congress on July 8.

The report, National Taxpayer Advocate’s 2009 Objectives Report to Congress, cited three areas for “particular emphasis” in fiscal year 2009, which begins on Oct. 1.

The first area concerns tax-related identity theft. This also was mentioned in the annual report for FY 2007 and IRS has taken a number of steps to improve its procedures, the report said. However, the OTA will work with IRS to improve the agency’s procedures in this area.

The second area of concern relates to cancellation of debt income. Specifically, the OTA will expand “outreach and education to individuals who have lost their homes to foreclosure concerning the “cancellation of debt” tax consequences they face,” the report said.

The third key area of concern relates to IRS collection practices. The OTA “remains concerned” about certain collection issues, including “resorting to seizures before all viable collection alternatives have been exhausted, under-utilization of partial-pay installment agreements, and excessive delays in collection that exacerbate taxpayer delinquency problems because of the accumulation of interest and penalties,” the report said.

The report mentioned additional areas of emphasis, which included monitoring the private debt collection program, working with IRS to assist taxpayers with disproportionate tax liabilities due to alternative minimum tax resulting from the exercise of incentive stock options (known as “ISO/AMT” tax liabilities), and working with IRS to improve the correspondence examination program.

The annual report can be found at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=184555,00.html For tax problem resolution CLICK HERE.

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