Our old friend, TIGTA (Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration) is back in the news this week — for once again slapping the IRS for not following rules regarding the way in which they are to interact with taxpayers’ representatives.
TIGTA recently analyzed how well the Office of Appeals has ensured that its people are appropriately including taxpayers’ representatives in its activities.
And a stat sample of 96 of over 72,000 cases closed by Appeals showed that Appeals folks did not always involve representatives appropriately in some key actions.
Seems Appeals people occasionally deviate from established procedures by attempting to contact taxpayers directly by telephone or not ensuring that copies of taxpayer correspondence were sent to the taxpayer’s authorized representative in all cases.
Further, no documentation was found in managerial reviews indicating that checks were made to ensure that Appeals personnel were involving representatives in all case actions and providing representatives copies of all original correspondence sent to the taxpayers.
We can attest from personal experience as to the last item.
Bottom line: If you or your representative (attorney or CPA) discovers that these blokes aren’t following the rules, call ‘em on it!
And if you’re an aspiring tax exempt organization, you may have already discovered that it just ain’t easy to gain that status from the Revenooers.
Once organizations are legally formed in their jurisdiction, the next step has generally been the completion of the very lengthy and onerous Form 1023 (Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
But in the never-ending search for improved “customer service” (pardon us while we chuckle), IRS has decided to develop an online application process.
The system allows a user to be alerted immediately of any “red flag” answers to questions, in the course of preparing the form.
Further, the process also ensures that the same questions are asked to all applicants, says Ken Corbin, Acting Director of Exempt Organizations.
Go check it out a www.stay exempt.irs.gov. And while you’re there, consider taking courses offered by IRS, including:
• Applying for 501(c)(3) Status
• Maintaining Tax Exempt Status
Or, you may wish to access the link to allow you to help test the Interactive Form 1023 — IRS says they want your “feedback” before final launch.
CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISER — This article contains general information about various tax matters. You should consult your CPA regarding the implications to your own particular situation. Jeff Quinn ,may be reached at 775-831-7288, welcomes comments at firstname.lastname@example.org, and invites readers to consider his other commentary at http://blog.nolo.com/taxes.