The IRS on January 11 sent its Taxpayer First Act Report to Congress – a comprehensive set of recommendations to enhance and reimagine the taxpayer experience and IRS operations. The bipartisan Taxpayer First Act (TFA) (P.L. 116-25), enacted in July 2019, is the most significant reform legislation affecting the structure and operation of the IRS in over 20 years.
Upon the IRS's request, NSA sent IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig a February 18, 2020, letter in which several proposals were outlined to assist the IRS in its restructuring efforts and preparation of its TFA report to Congress. Although given the opportunity to be a signatory on a letter drafted by various other industry organizations, NSA opted to deliver an independent response. NSA’s suggestions draw from decades of advocacy and a strong relationship with the IRS, the Office of the National Taxpayer Liaison, IRS Tax Forums, the Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee, and the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council.
“NSA’s membership of tax and accounting professionals appreciates the opportunity to provide input in the process and we welcome the open dialogue environment the IRS has established,” wrote NSA CEO John Rice. “We are committed to assisting the agency in any way possible as you seek to achieve the requirements of the TFA," he added. "We stand ready to help.”
The IRS’s TFA Report released on January 11 outlines the following three strategies that build upon one another to transform the IRS into a modern, efficient, and taxpayer-centric agency:
- Taxpayer Experience – a strategy that focuses on creating a proactive, convenient, seamless, personalized and effective interaction with taxpayers and the tax professional community;
- Employee Training – A comprehensive training strategy, a multi-faceted approach to empowering the workforce and equipping them with the skills and tools they need to advance their careers, provide high-quality service to taxpayers and enhance the taxpayer experience; and
- Organizational Redesign – A recommended organizational design that will increase collaboration, coordinate strategic implementation of large-scale initiatives, enhance innovation, strengthen communications and prioritize taxpayer rights, all with the aim of improving the taxpayer experience.
“The way we interact with taxpayers and the tax community, the way that we train our employees and the way we structure our organizational structure are important foundations for our future success,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Guided by the law, we will fundamentally change the way we operate, building upon our strengths, with additional focus on areas to improve the important service we provide to our great country.”
Improvements outlined in the report are expected to be seen over the next one to two years, with completion of the restructuring vision estimated to span ten years, according to Rettig.
The core mission of NSA is to help tax and accounting professionals become more successful.
NSA presents this information in the interest of its members for information purposes only and is not intended to provide, nor should it be relied upon, as legal, tax, or accounting advice.