Believe it or not, 2019 is almost halfway over (!). We’re through the summer solstice, the days get shorter from here on out, and here at Team Emelia Mensa CPA we begin to turn our eyes more directly at 2020.
We’re pretty thrilled by the opportunity, because it means we get that much more time to take advantage of all the juicy tax-saving opportunities on behalf of our clients.
But those really are only available to those who communicate and meet with us … so don’t let this year pass without doing so: (203) 244-9563 (or shoot me back an email using the email button at the top of our site).
Moving on … there is an IRS reform bill (The TaxPayer First Act) that passed through Congress in the last couple of weeks that marks some encouraging progress towards the ability of the IRS to be more responsive to regular taxpayers (like you and me). There has been a small amount of controversy about it, so I thought I’d pipe in with some thoughts about why this might be a GOOD thing for you and me.
Four Ways the IRS Reform Bill Helps Taxpayers Like You (and Me)
“Sometimes the only answer people are looking for when they ask for help is that they won’t have to face the problem alone.” -Mark Amend
On June 13th, the Taxpayer First Act (TFA) passed through the Senate. As of this writing, it still awaits the President’s signature, but it looks as if it will be signed and confirmed.
If this doesn’t seem like much of a big deal, here’s a brief but powerful fact:
The TFA is the first significant piece of legislation addressing the workings of the IRS since the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act signed in 1998.
Twenty years later and it’s time for a change.
But if you’re in the dark as to what changes are heading your way, allow me to provide four ways this bill can help you in the months and years to come.
When thinking about the IRS, the term “customer service” isn’t exactly what first comes to mind (at least, not in a good way).
But one goal of the TFA is to tip the customer service scale in a more favorable direction. At the top of that list? The IRS is now required to devise a “customer service strategy” which they can then instill in each employee.
Simply put, more focused training in this area for IRS employees will only benefit taxpayers like you should any interaction arise. This component of the law will be a great way to take an unfortunate stigma and turn it around for taxpayers for years down the line.
In the event you have to appeal an IRS decision, the TFA changes will also benefit your case. There is a newly-appointed independent appeals office that would be available, which would allow for greater access for taxpayers to view the case against them.
This adds a new level of transparency and communication to the whole tax dispute resolution process.
Change for the Private Collection Agency (PCA)
In 2017, PCAs were formed to collect unpaid tax bills. Under the TFA, PCAs can no longer specifically target low-income taxpayers who are behind on their tax bills. In other words, PCAs can no longer pressure them into payments they can’t afford.
Specifically, PCAs will not be able to collect from any taxpayer with a gross income of 200 percent below the poverty level.
The TFA follows suit with a nationwide, technological pursuit of greater identity protection.
Under the new provision, taxpayers who have had their identity stolen can request an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN). The IP PIN is a preventative measure to stop criminals from accessing items like taxpayer Social Security Numbers.
In turn, the IRS will assign a worker to the individuals with IP PINs so that their case can be filed unto completion.
These are just a few improvements that taxpayers like you can expect to see under the TFA.
But if you have any question moving forward, please let me know. I would love to sit down and discuss other ways the TFA might affect your filing. For now, take heart in these promising changes, and know there are people trying to make filing easier for you.
I would love to help do the same.
Emelia Mensa EA, CPA
Emelia Mensa CPA