The National Society of Accountants has posted an online petition that tax practitioners can sign to demonstrate their support for the “Tax Practitioners Bill of Rights,” which it issued earlier this week.
In response to the ongoing frustration of dealing with slow service from the Internal Revenue Service in the wake of a series of budget cuts at the agency, the NSA created a Tax Practitioner Bill of Rights on Monday, calling for the right to have tax laws and rules passed in a timely manner, the right to quality service from the IRS, and the right to practice without undue IRS demands during tax filing season (see Accountants Propose Tax Practitioners Bill of Rights).
The online petition is a way to demonstrate widespread support from tax practitioners for the Tax Practitioners Bill of Rights, according to the NSA.
“Thousands of us have the same problem—inadequate service from the IRS, which we depend on to effectively serve our clients,” NSA President Marilyn Niwao, a CPA and attorney, said in a statement. “This inadequate service is coupled with tax legislation that is often enacted in December with provisions that have to be reflected on tax returns prepared the following month—too late for taxpayers to take into account for tax planning purposes, too late for practitioners to take any education courses, and too late for the IRS to issue tax forms.”
The NSA Tax Practitioners Bill of Rights includes the following:
1. The Right to Have Tax Laws and Rules Passed in a Timely Manner, Including:
a. The right to have tax laws affecting the current tax year enacted no later than September 1 of that year.
b. The right to have IRS forms reflecting any new tax laws for the current year available no later than October 1 of that year.
2. The Right to Quality Service from the IRS, Including:
a. The right to have telephone calls answered within 15 minutes, on a practitioner-only hotline, staffed by competent/knowledgeable employees.
b. The right to have taxpayer correspondence answered within 20 days.
c. The right to have any collection action on the taxpayer’s account frozen while the IRS is considering a taxpayer’s timely filed response to IRS collection activity.
d. The right to have one IRS representative deal with a tax issue from start to finish until the issue is resolved.
e. The right to request a supervisor be involved in resolving a matter if the initiating IRS representative is unwilling or unable to resolve an issue.
f. The right for practitioners with Practitioner Tax Identification Numbers (PTINs) to communicate electronically with the IRS on taxpayer matters in a secure manner.
3. The Right to Practice Without Undue IRS Demands During Tax Filing Season, Including:
a. The right to have an IRS audit moratorium during the three weeks immediately before major tax deadlines such as March 15, April 15, September 15, October 15 of each year.
b. The right to have an IRS moratorium on collection actions or collection information requests during the three weeks immediately before major tax deadlines such as March 15, April 15, September 15, October 15 of each year.
c. The right to have an IRS moratorium on planned software maintenance and computer downtime periods during the three weeks immediately before major tax deadlines such as March 15, April 15, September 15, October 15 of each year.
“This initiative is a natural outgrowth of our position as the champion for the rights of tax practitioners as they serve the needs of American taxpayers, 60 percent of whom hire tax practitioners to submit their tax returns,” said NSA executive vice president John Ams. “We encourage tax practitioners everywhere to sign this petition. Their broad-based support for the Tax Practitioners Bill of Rights will help us work with policymakers and the IRS to solve the problems we face.”
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