IRS To Make Changes in Correspondence Exam Process
The IRS has conducted a comprehensive review of its correspondence exam process and is planning to make several changes, all of which are supposedly designed to make it easier for taxpayers and tax practitioners to communicate with the IRS. While these steps are progressive, it also demonstrates just how out-of-touch the IRS has been for so many years.
IRS officials recently revealed that pilot programs will be conducted to allow:
- Virtual meetings between IRS examiners, taxpayers, and tax practitioners. Think Skype and similar video services. The IRS believes better use of video technology in its difficult budget environment will allow it to have better communication with the public and that the video interaction would also lead to a better understanding of the issues and more case closures.
- Secure email communication with the IRS. The procedure would require users to login to a secure web portal. Once logged in, practitioners could send emails and documents to IRS correspondence audit examiners. Identity theft concerns have been a big problem with the IRS. It is hard to believe that the IRS is just now considering implementing secure email correspondence.
- IRS representatives assigned to the tax practitioner priority service line in the correspondence exam area will be required to have at least three years of experience with the IRS. This step, while very much needed, illustrates the frustrations tax practitioners have when dealing with the IRS. Tax practitioners have a special priority line that can be called to discuss taxpayer issues, cut through the red tape, and quickly resolve these issues. So with that objective in mind, why did the IRS assign inexperienced employees to handle these cases? The IRS did not address the wait times. Whereas a tax practitioner could in years past usually have his call answered within 10-20 minutes, the wait time is now often between 1 – 2 hours.
In all, these are positive developments and we look forward to the IRS continuing its efforts to make working with the IRS easier for tax practitioners and taxpayers.
If you want to learn more about tax planning strategies and tax preparation services, we invite you to call 610-594-2601 today to make an appointment at our Exton PA CPA office to discuss your situation. You can also schedule a consultation at Click Here.