Washington (Jan. 7, 2003) -- This year's National Taxpayer Advocate annual report to Congress identifies navigating the Internal Revenue Service as the No. 1 problem faced by both individuals and business owners.

"The Taxpayer Advocate Service must live up to its role as the independent conscience of the IRS with regards to systemic issues and providing assistance with specific case problems," said National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson. "The IRS has made significant progress on a number of fronts, however, the protection of taxpayer rights needs to remain paramount as the IRS continues to make improvements in the tax administration system."

The advocate said the second most serious problem facing taxpayers is the prompt processing of offer-in-compromise cases. This program, while making progress, has yet to fully realize the full implementation of the policy statement. Seven of the top 23 problems encountered by taxpayers involve the Earned Income Tax Credit.

According to the report, other serious problems facing taxpayers include math error authority (IRS notices are deficient in explaining adjustments, hard to reconcile with the original return and do not specify how to challenge the adjustment); IRS information reporting program (the program produces a high number of tax assessments that are later abated); and processing claims for refunds (refunds claims are often misplaced by the IRS and not processed within the promised timeframe by the IRS).

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access