AICPA Offers Suggestions to Lawmakers about Proposal to Redesign the IRS

April 6, 2018

  • Recommends creation of Practitioner Services division within IRS and a focused and well-defined approach to regulation of tax return preparers 
  • Supports other provisions in discussion draft, including single point of contact at the IRS for taxpayers affected by identity theft

Washington, D.C. (April 6, 2018) – The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) today offered suggestions to lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight about a discussion draft, the Taxpayer First Act, to redesign the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

“We are committed to supporting Congress in its efforts to ensure a service-oriented, modernized tax administration and appreciate the opportunity to provide comments,” Annette Nellen, CPA, CGMA, Esq., chair of the AICPA Tax Executive Committee, wrote in the April 6 letter.

Nellen emphasized that the AICPA believes the Proposal should also include a Practitioner Services division to tailor the customer-service approach of the IRS for tax practitioners and a focused and well-defined approach to regulation of tax return preparers in order to protect taxpayer rights.  “The AICPA firmly thinks that creating a Practitioner Services division and the regulation of tax return preparers will make a substantial difference in taxpayer awareness, confidence and compliance, thereby instilling trust in the tax administration system as a modern functioning IRS of the 21st century,” she wrote.

Nellen commended provisions in the discussion draft “that seek a fair and efficient interaction with the IRS.”  As examples, she cited the provisions that would codify the IRS Independent Office of Appeals and that would provide clarity of equitable relief from joint liability.  

Among the AICPA’s other comments about the Proposal’s provisions, Nellen stated that the AICPA:

  • Supports a single point of contact at the IRS for taxpayers affected by identity theft and the expansion of the current identity protection personal identification number system to any individual requesting protection;
  • Supports the development of online accounts and portals to provide services to taxpayers and their designated return preparers;
  • Supports the provision to develop an internet portal that would facilitate taxpayers filing Form 1099 with the IRS; and
  • Supports the expanded use of electronic systems.

Finally, Nellen urged the Subcommittee “to seek active engagement of taxpayers and their practitioners in the development of the IRS strategies and comprehensive plans.”

The Oversight Subcommittee released the Taxpayer First Act on March 26.