FY 2014 Objectives Report to Congress and Special Report to Congress

Taxpayer Bill of Rights

Over the last few months, the Internal Revenue Service has been the center of public attention for several reasons, most notably its scrutiny of politically active social welfare organizations seeking recognition as tax-exempt entities. The public attention to these recent events has in many ways reinforced many taxpayers' preconceived perceptions of the IRS as an agency that treats taxpayers unfairly. While all this is grievous enough and in fact calamitous for public respect for and compliance with the tax laws (because once lost, trust takes a very long time to be regained), these events are symptoms of broader problems festering at the IRS.

There is much that is good about the IRS - indeed, the National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) has the deepest respect for the agency and its workforce, even when she vigorously disagrees with the IRS's actions or policies. But today, the IRS is an institution in crisis. In the NTA's view, however, the real crisis is not the one generating headlines. The real crisis facing the IRS - and therefore taxpayers - is a radically transformed mission coupled with inadequate funding to accomplish that mission. As a consequence of this crisis, the IRS gives limited consideration to taxpayer rights or fundamental tax administration principles as it struggles to get its job done.

Read the Preface

"To promote voluntary compliance with the tax laws, the IRS must be impartial both in fact and in appearance. The revelation that the IRS used'tea party' and similar labels to select tax-exemption applicants for further review, even if intended solely as a workload management tool, has created the appearance that the IRS was not impartial. It is imperative the IRS move quickly to regain the public's trust and take steps to prevent this kind of incident from happening again."

Nina Olson, National Taxpayer Advocate

News Release

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson today released a report to Congress that identifies the priority issues the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) will focus on during the upcoming fiscal year. The report expresses particular concern about the IRS's unwillingness to date to issue full refunds to victims of tax preparer fraud, the impact of budget cuts on the IRS's ability to meet taxpayer needs, and shortcomings in IRS procedures for assisting victims of tax-related identity theft. In addition, Olson released a special report examining the IRS's use of questionable criteria to screen applicants for tax-exempt status. Continue>>

Report Graphics

2014 Objectives Report to Congress Graphics
The NTA's Objectives Report to Congress identifies the priority issues TAS will focus on during the upcoming fiscal year. These graphics display information from the report on topics such as return preparer misconduct and tax-related identity theft. More graphics>>

The Time for Tax Reform is Now!

To further the dialogue about tax reform, TAS has established a vehicle to receive taxpayers' suggestions for tax reform. Please provide your input.

Check back often for updated comments and a new display - coming soon!

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