NSA chimes in on IRS restructuring

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More input from tax professionals, a practitioner-specific service unit and setting target dates for agency IT development are among suggestions from the National Society of Accountants regarding the proposed IRS restructuring contained in the Taxpayer First Act.

In its letter, the NSA recommended:

  • Increasing tax pro input regarding an IRS practitioner services unit. The group acknowledged “the exceptional work” the IRS does through the National Practitioner Liaison and the IRS Tax Forums.
  • Tax pros should serve as subject matter experts IRS employee training. The NSA recommended a training focus on core and advanced tax law with emphasis on general customer service, issue resolution and “enhanced understanding of practical consequences of IRS actions on individual taxpayers,” among other suggestions.
  • Regarding customer service, the IRS would benefit from more points of access. The NSA called for a secure communications platform that would allow tax pros to deal with issues relating to clients’ returns; a “tax return-specific” tracking system for information exchange, ITIN applications, time-stamped responses, confirmations of receipt and other correspondence; an efficient process for taxpayers to authorize third parties; and an online tax pro account system that would allow for individual login and access to multiple clients’ data.
  • The IRS needs a long-term approach to modifying technology infrastructure, identifying five-, 10- and 15-year targets and involving in-house technology development, as well as outsourcing with organizations such as municipalities, software companies and banks.

Earlier in the month, a number of other practitioner organizations sent in their input on restructuring the IRS, including a strong focus on creating a Practitioner Services Division (see our story).

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