The 2017 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums a success for TAS

November 21, 2017

Each year, the IRS sponsors the Nationwide Tax Forums, a three-day series of tax education and networking conferences for tax professionals in cities around the country.

The 2017 Tax Forums featured the latest information from the IRS, news about tax law changes, a chance to meet with software vendors, and the opportunity to attend seminars presented by IRS and TAS employees in addition to members of professional associations.
TAS offered three seminars, oversaw the Case Resolution Program and held two focus groups. The TAS seminars received positive comments from many of the participants. TAS seminar topics included:

  • Advocating for Your Client whose Accounts were Assigned by the IRS to a Private Collection Agency (PCA). This presentation discussed the statutory basis and the IRS’s implementation of the private debt collection initiative in 2017. It covered the program and how to protect and advocate for your clients if they have been referred to an agency and protecting your client’s taxpayer rights in dealing with the agencies.

  • Advocating for Your Client in Cases Involving Trade and Business Expenses – Hobby Losses. This presentation started with a general overview of trade and business expenses with a specific focus on hobby losses. Recently decided court cases involving hobby losses and other trade and business expenses will be explored for strategies for advocating on behalf of your clients to the IRS. It discussed several best practices for substantiating those expenses.

  • Advocating for Your Client in Issues Flowing from the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) This presentation discussed the overview of the legal and administrative background regarding FATCA, including withholding of fixed, determinable, annual, and periodic (FDAP) payments to nonresidents. It covered the process of obtaining applicable refunds and how to advocate for your client who is experiencing delays or other difficulties in these efforts. The National Taxpayer Advocate 2016’s Annual Report to Congress addresses this problem facing taxpayers. If you missed this seminar, you can still take this seminar for credit; visit the IRS Tax Forum Online.

Case Resolution Program

This year practitioners brought their toughest unresolved IRS case (one case per tax business) to the Case Resolution Program (CRP). IRS and TAS representatives with specialized expertise were available to meet with the practitioners one-on-one to discuss their case. Nearly 900 cases were worked at the tax forums, with a 99% resolution rate.

“I just used Case resolution program to resolve a problem I had been trying to resolve for over 10 months, she got it done in 20 minutes,” stated one practitioner.

Please make plans to join us next year and bring your toughest case. Start looking for information in the Spring. Remember, you must present a signed original or copy of your Power of Attorney to schedule the appointment.

Focus Groups

TAS hosted two focus groups this year at all five locations and practitioners were eager to give TAS their views. The topics were Installment Agreements and Experiences with TAS Services. The National Taxpayer Advocate is very interested in the practitioner’s opinions on these topics and how TAS can advocate for taxpayers in this changing environment.

Look for your opportunity to sign up for the 2018 Tax Forums this Spring. We look forward to seeing you.