Taxpayers First Act – 7 Ways That It Will Help!
For most people, the IRS is the government agency that they want to work with the least. They want to take your money, they have many loopholes that could affect your financial situation, and an audit is the last thing anyone wants to go through.
Just this month, a new law was enacted that will make working with the IRS a little more enjoyable for taxpayers. The Taxpayers First Act (TFA) lays out some new rules that limit what the IRS can do, as well as new measures they will be taking to make our experience as taxpayers more pleasant.
Here are 7 Ways The Taxpayers First Act Will Help.
- Minimizing costly litigation of an appeal – Let’s say you’re being audited; an IRS agent is stating that you’re not entitled to a deduction. You have the right the appeal this. Under the current law, 9 out of 10 times in an appeal, the decision by the IRS agent will not be rereviewed by the IRS, so you will have to go to court to solve this dispute. The new TFA will make sure the IRS independent appeals process is available to all taxpayers with a legitimate claim to minimize costly litigation.
- Customer service improvements – Let’s call a spade a spade, most the time dealing with the IRS is terrible due to customer service. With the TFA, the IRS will have to adopt best practices of private sector customer-service providers, update guidance and training materials for customer-service employees and develop metrics and benchmarks for quantitatively measuring the progress of its customer-service strategy.
- Earlier notice of third-party questioning – The IRS currently uses third parties to question transactions of individuals and businesses that are being audited. There is currently no enforced amount of time for notice before you are questioned. If you are given notice, it could be an hour, a week, a month before you are questioned. The TFA requires that the IRS give taxpayers a 45 days notice before any third part questioning, giving you more time to prepare, and less stress.
- Limited Access to Taxpayer information – Typically, tax returns and other information cannot be given to non-IRS employees, but there are a few loopholes. Attorneys and contractors hired to help in litigation can access this confidential information. The TFA ensures that this information cannot be obtained unless it is needed to provide expert evaluation and assistance to the IRS.
- Working with Taxpayer Advocates in a timely manner – As taxpayers, we have access to the National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA). NTA representatives are IRS employees that make sure that all taxpayers are treated fairly. They help with issues like incorrect returns, knowing your rights as a taxpayer, etc. They are on our side. However, if there is a dispute, there is a common issue that the IRS does not work with the NTA in a timely manner. The Taxpayers first act ensures that the IRS modifies, rejects or complies with any NTA directive within 90 days.
- Identity Theft Protection – Identity theft is becoming a bigger and bigger problem, specifically in tax returns. The new law will include many changes such as expanding the Identity Theft Protection Personal Identification Number Progam and giving you a single point of contact within the IRS if you are the victim of identity theft.
- Accepting Credit and Debit Card Payments – Currently, you are able to pay with a debit or credit card, but it is through a third party. Now you will be able to pay the IRS Directly with a credit or debit card for taxes as long as the fee is paid by the taxpayer.
There are many ways that The Taxpayers First Act can help. With the Taxpayers First Act, we can all rest a little bit easier knowing that there are new laws that make dealing with the IRS easier.