Denver IRS Practitioner Liaison Meeting Notes January 2018...
I wasn't able to be present at the this most excellent semi-annual event but did send one of my top trusted lieutenants who came back with the following notes and permission to share.
Biggest and most welcome changes are with the Appeals Function so be sure to check out that part, particularly Rev Proc 2016-22
IRS Representatives/Title/IRS Function
- Diane Sandoval, Territory Manager, Collection
- John Owens, Group Manager, Collection
- Tamara Hobson, Operations Manager, ACS
- Gary Van Dorn, Quality Reviewer, ACS
- Rose Garcia, Group Manager, Taxpayer Advocate
- Heath Beckett, Appeals Team Manager, Appeals
- Steven Osborne, Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Investigation
- Kenneth Cooper, Territory Manager, Examination
- Matthew Houtsma, Area Counsel
- Debbie Rodgers, Senior Stakeholder Liaison
- Appeals conference procedures changed in Oct 2016.
- Oct 2016 revisions went back to face-to-face for Field Appeals only. Doesn’t require TP meet certain criteria.
- Face to Face includes WebEx (EE can be seen). Applies to field EE not campus.
- Appeals Team Manager concurrence no longer required for appeals officer to hold in-person conference.
- Appeals can now invite Chief Counsel & Compliance (TCOs & RA’s) to attend appeals conferences. Compliance being present doesn’t jeopardize Appeals independence.
- Complex cases generally come from LB&I, Appeals will invite Compliance for pre-Appeal conference for legal arguments. For complex cases, Appeals doesn’t have to secure TP agreement to invite Compliance.
- Time appeals officers are given to complete preliminary review on a case is 45 days, which can be extended, with ATM approval, to 75 days.
***Important Note about Appeals***
- In March 2016, IRS issued Rev Proc 2016 – 22, which supersedes Rev Proc 87-24, that provides the administrative appeal process in docketed tax court cases.
- It clarifies the time frame Appeals has jurisdiction to work a docketed case before we are required to give it back to Chief Counsel.
- Docketed cases can be called back with no warning.
- For example, if it is a small tax case or regular tax case (disputed issue for any given tax year is equal to or less than $50,000), Appeals will return the case so that it is received by Counsel no later than 30 calendar days prior to the date of the calendar call.
- Appeals will return all other docketed cases to Counsel within 10 calendar days after the case appears on a trial calendar.
- In all cases, Counsel and Appeals may agree to extend the time for Appeals to consider a case, if settlement appears reasonably likely.
- Collection has experienced over 40% attrition nationwide in the last 7 years.
- Nationwide IRS has gone from 4068 Revenue Officers to 2380.
- Colorado staff is currently at 30; we normally have about 100 ROs
- Collection’s primary focus is on employment taxes. As of April 2017, of the $68 billion unpaid employment taxes, 70.2% of all revenue was secured.
- Secondary focus is getting RO on field calls to address of record. Having information available as soon as possible helps in resolution of case
Automated Collection System (ACS) - Streamlined plans
- Accounts Management follows the 21 manual which has limit of $25,000.
- ACS follows the 5.19 manual which allows ACS to work streamline IAs up to $50,000.
- Liabilities from $50,000 to $250,000 would require ACS to obtain a financial information statement.
- ACS has an IRM deviation until September 30, 2018 effecting individual and out of business sole proprietor taxpayer accounts with assessments from $25,000 to $100,000.
- The deviation allows ACS to accept IAs that pay the assessed amount in 72 months with a Direct Debit Installment Agreement (DDIA) of $25,000 to $50,000; a Notice of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL) or financial information statement is not required with the DDIA.
- However, an NFTL is required if the TP does not provide the DDIA.
- ACS may also accept a DDIA without a financial information statement on assessed amounts paid in 84 months from $50,000 to $100,000 with a DDIA; ACS must file an NFTL on this type of streamline IA.
- These streamline IAs must be paid within the Collection Statute Expiration Date (CSED). IRM 5.19 allows ACS to work cases up to $250,000; mandatory assignment to the Field occurs if the assessed liability exceeds $250,000 assessed.
- ACS can work up to $250,000 with a FP, or 120 day FP. This FP or 120-day arrangement is available for individual, out of business sole-proprietor and non-trust fund business based upon another deviation that expires on September 30, 2018.
Automated Collection System (ACS) - Other Mentions
- During filing season (FS) if there is a shutdown, ACS has been deemed essential & will be open. After FS ACS is deemed to be non-essential.
- Nationwide ACS has been allotted 500 new contact representative hires, Denver will receive 29 of the new hires.
- POA Disclosures for ID Theft include DOB & SSN.
- CAF #s have been compromised so there’s an increase in disclosure for practitioners: DOB, SSN & one other but no information off their own return. Can do over the phone disclosure through your client who’s with you. Disclosure will be done with them, they can then state that you are authorized to speak on their behalf. This is in the IRM 21.
- The TP/POA must make a specific proposal for an IA before a code is input into the system effecting the CSED. IA codes are systemically removed after 14 weeks (cycles) if no is action taken; the codes can be reinput if ACS works the case. There is a deviation from the IRM until September 30, 2018 allowing the Independent Reviewer in ACS 15-days to respond to a request for rejection.
- The CSED is affected during the independent review process. The CSED is extended from the date the TP/POA requests the IA until after the timeframe the Service completes processing the case.
- Approximately 475 RAs in western area. Has decreased significantly over the last 5 – 7 years. Exam has about 91 TCOs.
- Exam has phased out the following programs: The 1099K initiative is done after 7 years. The ATAT program is decreasing and the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative has ended. Our resources are being focused on core programs.
- Claims, DIF, NRP and Audit recons are still active. Please have documentation ready during an examination. NRP was suspended for 2016.
- Questions: Aggressive Revenue Agents?
- Response: In 2017 Examination attempted to improve cycle time for exam due to a case study analysis. The case study identified that every case worked 3 days in a row or within a short period of time for several days with the TP, the case closed within 8 months, otherwise every case took more than a year. Exam is trying to improve scheduling to get the examination accomplished quicker for both the taxpayer and the IRS.
- Return Preparer Visitation Program is in process currently.
- PATH criteria cases are elevated to National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olsen for review.
- Taxpayer Advocate mediates between the functions & the TP or POA.
- TAS will ask for same documentation that the functions request.
- Denver office services CO/ID/MT/WY, with 60 Special Agents. Currently there are 2100 Special Agents nationwide. In FY 2018, Nationwide CI was approved to hire approximately 96 – 144. Denver hopes to get some non-1811 positions, to assist with administrative assignments.
- CI’s focus remains on ID Theft, and we see a spike during Filing Season.
- 2018 priorities include traditional tax crimes to include employment taxes, abusive tax Schemes, cyber-crimes and Laundering illicit funds through dark web.
- CI will continue to work licensed marijuana grows and dispensaries as legal source tax cases.
- Small “S” cases less than $50,000 small case or regular case designation
- are handled by small group of attorneys & para-legal employees.
- Para-legal employees try to settle cases quickly. Efficient handling of cases is the answer to effective resolution of issues. Talk to Counsel early, before the case goes on the calendar.
- There is a frivolous case spike, possibly due to a promoter.
- There are 2 Marijhana case opinions available, Jabari and Feinberg.
- If you have clients that need legal advice, the Denver University tax clinic is a good resource.
IRS Names 8 New IRPAC Members
The Internal Revenue Service announced the selection of eight new members and 14 reinstated members for the Information Reporting Program Advisory Committee (IRPAC), which provides a forum for IRS officials and members of the public to address information reporting issues.
IRS Statement on Retroactive Extender Provisions
The IRS is reviewing the legislation signed Feb. 9 that retroactively extended and modified numerous tax provisions covering 2017. We are assessing these significant changes in the tax law and beginning to determine next steps. The IRS will provide additional information as quickly as possible for affected taxpayers and the tax community.
Key IRS Identity Theft Indicators Continue Dramatic Decline in 2017; Security Summit Marks 2017 Progress Against Identity Theft
The Internal Revenue Service announced steep declines in tax-related identity theft in 2017, attributing the success to the Security Summit initiatives that help safeguard the nation’s taxpayers. Key indicators of identity theft dropped for the second year in a row in 2017. This includes a 40 percent decline in taxpayers reporting they are victims of identity theft in 2016. Since 2015, the number of tax-related identity theft victims has fallen by almost two-thirds and billions of dollars of taxpayer refunds have been protected.
Tax Pros Urged to Step Up Security as Filing Scheme Emerges, Reminded to Report Data Thefts
Seeing the emergence of a new filing season scam, the Internal Revenue Service urges tax professionals to step up security and beware of phishing emails that can secretly download malicious software that can help cybercriminals steal client data. In a new twist, the fraudulent returns in a few cases used the taxpayers' real bank accounts for the deposit. A woman posing as a debt collection agency official then contacted the taxpayers to say a refund was deposited in error and asked the taxpayers to forward the money to her.
As always feel welcome to contact me for follow up questions, comments or concerns