August 10 discussion will focus on improving services, reducing audit requests during tax season and increasing IRS budget appropriations.
Top leaders of the National Society of Accountants (NSA) will meet with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen on August 10 to discuss a range topics relating to the services the IRS provides to tax preparers.
NSA President Kathy Hettick, EA, ABA, ATP; NSA First Vice President Al Giovetti, CPA, ABA, ATA, ARA; NSA Second Vice President Brian L. Thompson, CPA; NSA Secretary-Treasurer Curtis Banks Lee, Jr., ATA, ATP, and NSA Executive Vice President John Ams will conduct the meeting.
Key topics for the meeting include:
- Upgrades to IRS phone support and service.
- Audits and correspondence audits, including limiting such audits during tax season.
- Suggestions to improve the power of attorney process for tax professionals.
- Suggestions to improve electronic tax filing services.
- What NSA can do to support increased IRS budget appropriations.
Many of these issues were highlighted in 2015 when NSA issued its Tax Practitioners Bill of Rights that calls on Congress and the IRS to do several things. The rights include passing and implementing tax laws in a timely manner, providing prompt and consistent response to questions by phone and mail in a secure manner with a single IRS representative in charge of reviewing each specific tax issue, and reducing the demands the IRS places on tax preparers during tax season, especially involving audits.
“Fortunately, we have a Commissioner who knows how to partner with organizations and professionals and who truly works to improve tax administration for taxpayers as well as tax professionals,” Hettick said. “He is open to ideas, and listens when people speak. We brought forward the Tax Practitioners Bill of Rights last Fall in our meeting with the Commissioner, and it was well received and understood.
“This upcoming meeting is an opportunity for NSA to continue to strengthen this relationship which in turn strengthens the ability for our members and tax professionals to do the best job possible for their clients. Communication is the key to a successful and manageable tax system. With our overwhelmingly complicated tax code, we must always be asking the IRS, ‘What can you do for us? What can we do for you?’ This is how we can build a true partnership.”
Thompson recounted two instances this year and last year when the IRS required him to respond to audit requests late in the tax filing season, including one request to conduct a tax return audit for a client with an IRS representative on April 15, 2015. These are just two examples of the types of issues that tax practitioners across the nation face on a regular basis.
“We hope that the Commissioner listen carefully to our concerns in this area and reduce this onerous burden on tax preparers during tax season,” Thompson noted.
“NSA has consistently done all we can to support the IRS in the Congressional budgeting process to try to ensure that the agency has the resources it needs to provide services to tax preparers and the public,” said NSA Executive Vice President John Ams. “We have also offered many specific suggestions to the IRS itself on how it can improve the essential services we rely on so heavily throughout the year. All these issues will be on the table at our meeting and we look forward to a very productive discussion.”