The Taxpayer Advocacy Panel on November 16, 2012, released their annual report for the year 2011 (pdf, 112 pages).
During the year 2011, the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel made 41 recommendations for improving the operations of the Internal Revenue Service. In its annual report, The Panel discussed the following recommendations, which were accepted by the IRS during 2011 and for which solutions to these issues have been or are being developed:
- Rewrite Letter 1085, which is used to notify taxpayers that the IRS intends to take levy action. The Panel recommended making the letter easier to understand and make it look more professional.
- Communicate with e-file transmitters to explain refund processing delays on specific tax returns
- Allow taxpayers to report a change of address on the IRS Web site.
- Restore the Standard Deduction Chart on Form 1040 so that taxpayers age 65 and over and/or blind can determine their standard deduction properly.
- Clarify the signature requirement for Form 8868, relating to extensions for non-profit organizations.
- Add a description of the IRS's bad check policy to the Instructions for Form 1040.
- Mail out postcards to filers of Form 2290 to remind them that the IRS would no longer be mailing out Form 2290.
- Adopt consistent instructions for practitioners who are revoking or withdrawing Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative.
- Revise the Instructions for 2290 to highlight the benefits of electronic filing.
- Revise Publication 3402, Taxation of Limited Liability Companies, to address issues related to single-member LLCs.
- Make identity theft information more readily available on the IRS's Web site.
- Revise Letter 147C, relating to electronic filing errors caused by mismatches between a taxpayer's name and taxpayer identification numbers as shown on the return versus what's shown in the IRS databases.
- Improve access to prior year forms, instructions and publications on the IRS Web site.
- Revise the IRS return processing system to correct an improper calculation of the health insurance deduction for self-employed taxpayers.
- Revise the IRS return processing system to correct an improper disallowance of the tax credit for small employer health insurance premiums.
- Clarify the difference between personal identification numbers (PIN) and practitioner tax identification numbers (PTIN) to avoid any confusion on the part of practitioners.
- Revise Publication 901, U.S. Tax Treaties, to update information regarding the tax treaty between the U.S. and Norway.
- Increase dollar threshold and lengthen the repayment period for streamlined installment agreements.
- Expand e-services to enable practitioners to make inquires regarding civil penalties.
The Taxpayer Advocacy Panel is a federal advisory committee composed of volunteers and was established in 2002. The Panel is tasked with listening to the concerns of taxpayers and elevating recommendations to the IRS to address systematic problems.
You can share your suggestions for improving the IRS on the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Web site at http://improveirs.org/speakup.aspx/.