The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently reviewed the Internal Revenue Serivce's (IRS's) program on Collection Due Process requests, and found it to have similar room for improvement as compared to TIGTA's last review. For instance, the program could be more accurate in classifying requests and providing the correct type of hearing to taxpayers. The IRS also needs to improve how it handles taxpayer requests initially sent to the wrong location, as well as how it calculates statute expiration dates. For more information on the results of this review, click here.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) completed its statutory audit of the IRS' Collection Due Process program and released its final report on August 30, 2016. The Collection Due Process program was designed as an opportunity for taxpayers to have an independent review of proposed IRS levies and liens. TIGTA found that the IRS' internal compliance with the program has improved overall, with fewer misclassified taxpayer cases as compared to the previous year's review.
The United States Tax Court Chief Judge Michael B. Thornton recently announced that the Tax Court has adopted interim amendments and has issued proposed amendments to the Tax Court Rules of Practice and Procedure relating to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, and the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015. Among the proposed amendments to the Tax Court Rules are rules relating to the new ability of the IRS to issue a certification to the Secretary of State for action with respect to denial, revocation, or limitation of a passport in the case of "seriously delinquent tax debts." I.R.C. sec. 7345(a).
Last week, the Tax Court remanded a collection due process case to the IRS Appeals Office for consideration of an offer in compromise (OIC) on the grounds that the IRS had failed to adequately consider whether the OIC promoted effective tax administration. Bogart v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2014-46. The case involved a collection due process hearing for unpaid individual income tax liabilities where the taxpayers discovered that their bookkeeper and tax preparer had been embezzling funds from them. The Court found that the bookkeeper had perpetrated a fraud against the taxpayers, and that she had used the stolen funds to pay for her gambling addiction. The bookkeeper embezzled at least $116,000 from the taxpayers, and did not include those stolen funds in the taxpayers' gross income, which resulted in tax deficiencies for two years. The bookkeeper pleaded guilty to 10 counts of theft in the first degree and was sentenced to prison.