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NYA Stakeholder Liaison Field IMRS Monthly Discussion Call Summary April 19, 2017

Topi cs Di scussed:

New IMRS and Stakeholder Liaison Field Re-alignment.

• As part of the IRS Future State Initiative, the Issue Management Resolution System (IMRS) along with the Stakeholder Liaison Field Division have moved from the Small Business/Self-Employed Division to the Communications and Liaison(C&L) Division.
New Deadline for Reporting Foreign Accounts

• Starting this year, the deadline for filing the annual Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) is now the same as for a federal income tax return. This means that the 2016 FBAR, Form 114, must be filed electronically with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) by April 18, 2017. FinCEN will now grant filers missing the April 18 deadline an automatic extension until Oct. 16, 2017 to file the FBAR. Specific extension requests are not required. In the past, the FBAR deadline was June 30 and no extensions were available.

Online Payment Agreement: Is the OPA application having technical difficulties? If so,has an alert been issued?
• No other areas have reported any problems with utilizing the OPA. This issue appears to be an isolated case.

Feedback Requested-New On-line Tools to Help Tax Pros
• John Walker has been selected to participate in a project sponsored by the IRS to help determine what new on-line tools and resources would be most of value to the Tax Professional community. John is asking for feedback and suggestions from his fellow tax pros. John’s email address is jwalker@jwalkercompany.com

New Issues

Issue with Getting IPPIN On-Line
Taxpayer accounts were not always consistently updated to ensure that IPPINs [identity protection personal identification numbers] were generated for taxpayers as required. For example, the IRS did not generate IP PINs for more than 2 million taxpayers for whom the IRS resolved an identity-theft case by confirming that the taxpayer was a victim. This results from inconsistent processes and procedures when closing resolved identity-theft cases.

IRS Walk-in Office (TAC) Procedures for Hearing Impaired Taxpayers
A taxpayer, who is hearing impaired, had to go to a walk-in office. There were no accommodations for him. He sat at a desk, one of many in a row, separated by a divider; as is common in most walk in locations. The person he dealt with loudly read (for his benefit) off his social security number, and all his financial information, while the woman sitting next to him smiled, as she could hear everything. It seems there needs to be a private office available for such clients.
• This issue was added to the IMRS Discussion Board to solicit feedback to the extent of this problem.

Supplemental Filing Season Information

IRS Points to Progress for 2017 Tax Filing Season
By Charles S. Clark April 26,2017
The 2017 tax filing season presented the fewest wrinkles of any of the four administered by Internal Revenue Commissioner John Koskinen, an IRS official told a House Ways and Means oversight subcommittee on Wednesday.
“The smooth operation of the filing season is not automatic or accidental; it has been made possible because of the hard work and dedication of the IRS workforce,” said Kirsten Wielobob, deputy commissioner for services and enforcement. “We

implemented changes enacted in 2015 under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, we improved taxpayer assistance and we continued increasing our efforts to protect taxpayer information.”
The PATH Act’s altered timing of steps to verify income data from W-2 forms allowed the IRS to hold off on some refunds and better spot “incorrect or fraudulent returns,” she said.
As of Wednesday, according to the IRS webs i te, the agency had received 135,638,000 individual returns, a slight drop from last year. It handed out $268 billion in refunds (averaging $2,763), up 1.9 percent over the 2016 filing season. The number of taxpayers who self-prepared their returns was roughly stable at 51,763,000, versus 70,401,000 this year who used paid preparers. Despite IRS campaigns to encourage online queries, IRS website usage actually dropped by 4. 1 percent to 312,255,666 visits over last year’s tally.
Telephone wait times and levels of service to live callers “improved in the 2017 filing season,” Jessica Lucas-Judy, acting director for strategic issues for the Government Accountabi lity Office, told the panel. “Average wait time decreased from 9.7 to 6.8 minutes compared to last year, and telephone level of service was more than 77 percent compared to 74 percent. Further, IRS reduced the number of written correspondence that is late, or ‘overage,’ compared to prior years.”
The agency did experience two power outages that caused minor delays, Lucas-Judy added.
Still hanging over the IRS, however, is the shadow of identity theft using such programs as the earned income tax credit. “Some process improvements are needed,” said Michael McKenney, deputy inspector general for audit at the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

“Taxpayer accounts were not always consistently updated to ensure that [identity protection personal identification numbers] were generated for taxpayers as required,” he said. “For example, the IRS did not generate IP PINs for more than 2 million taxpayers for whom the IRS resolved an identity-theft case by confirming that the taxpayer was a victim. This results from inconsistent processes and procedures when closing resolved identity-theft cases.”
TIGTA plans next month to release an audit assessing the IRS’ actions to notify victims of identity theft and to notify the Social Security Administration so that their benefits are not claimed by imposters.

By Charles S. Clark April 26,2017
http://www. govexec.com/management/2017/04/irs-poi nts-progress-2017- tax-filing-season/137361/