The IRS recorded two violations of its Fair Tax Collection Practices in 2015, though as many as a dozen additional cases with potential violations were not tracked, according to a recent report.
The report, from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, looked into how the service tracked, recorded and punished violations of the FTCP standards established under the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998.
The two recorded violations involved revenue agents who contacted taxpayers directly, without the required consent of the taxpayers’ power of attorney. One agent was suspended for three days; the other received “alternative discipline” that required them to give a presentation on proper procedures and on “being professional and courteous,” TIGTA reported.
The 12 cases with potential violations were either not entered into the IRS’ Automated Labor and Employee Relations Tracking System, or ALERTS, or were miscoded in the system. One was an investigation of a revenue officer for harassing a taxpayer in connection with tax collection; in that case, the automated tracking system did not allow all five violation codes to be transmitted. The other 11 cases were complaints that involved revenue officers contacting taxpayers with the representative’s consent, or harassing taxpayers.
TIGTA recommended that the IRS update its programming to make sure that all potential violation codes are transmitted to ALERTS, that it update guidance to make sure IRS employees know who is responsible for manually entering which information in ALERTS, and that the service review the 12 cases with potential violations.
The IRS agreed with the recommendations, and noted that it had reviewed the 12 cases and determined that the violations were “adequately addressed.”
TIGTA did note that there were no civil actions leading to monetary settlements from any FTCP violations.
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