FULL REPORT 

The Internal Revenue Code requires the National Taxpayer Advocate to submit two annual reports to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance. The National Taxpayer Advocate is required to submit these reports directly to the Committees without any prior review or comment from the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, the Secretary of the Treasury, or the Office of Management and Budget. The first report, due by June 30 of each year, must identify the objectives of the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate for the fiscal year beginning in that calendar year.

VOLUME I: FY 2019 OBJECTIVES REPORT TO CONGRESS

  1. PREFACE: National Taxpayer Advocate’s Introductory Remarks

  2. REVIEW OF THE 2018 FILING SEASON

  3. AREAS OF FOCUS

    1. Taxpayers Need More Guidance and Service to Understand and Comply With the TaxCuts and Jobs Act

    2. The IRS’s Failure to Create an Omnichannel Service Environment Restricts Taxpayers’ Ability to Get Assistance Using the Communication Channels That Best Meet Their Needs and Preferences

    3. The IRS’s Enterprise Case Management Project Shows Promise, But to Achieve 21st Century Tax Administration, the IRS Needs an Overarching Information Technology Strategy With Proper Multi-Year Funding

    4. High False Detection Rates Associated With Fraud Detection and Identity Theft Filters Unnecessarily Burden Legitimate Taxpayers

    5. The IRS’s Private Debt Collection Program, Which Has Yet to Generate Net Revenues, Continues to Unnecessarily Burden Taxpayers Experiencing Economic Hardship and Produces Installment Agreements With High Default Rates

    6. Some IRS Procedures for the Certification Program Related to Denial or Revocation of Passports Ignore Legislative Intent and Impair Taxpayer Rights

    7. The IRS Has Expanded Its Math Error Authority, Reducing Due Process for Vulnerable Taxpayers, Without Legislation and Without Seeking Public Comments

    8. The Systemic First-Time Abatement Policy as Currently Applied by the IRS Would Override Reasonable Cause Relief and Jeopardize Fundamental Taxpayer Rights

    9. Recent Legislation Provides Opportunities for Needed Changes to the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number Program, But the IRS Must Ensure Any Such Changes Preserve Taxpayer Rights

    10. TAS Is Researching Specific Ways That the IRS Can Improve Its Notices and Letters to Educate Taxpayers and Protect Taxpayer Rights

    11. IRS Studies Focus on How to Maximize Revenue Collection Without Regard to Taxpayer Needs and Preferences for Contact

    12. IRS Policies Are Limiting Taxpayers’ Access to Quality Appeals

  4. EFFORTS TO IMPROVE TAS ADVOCACY AND SERVICE TO TAXPAYERS

  5. TAS RESEARCH INITIATIVES

  6. TAS TECHNOLOGY

  7. APPENDICES

    1. Evolution of the Office of Taxpayer Advocate
    2. Taxpayer Advocate Service Case Acceptance Criteria
    3. List of Low Income Taxpayer Clinics .
    4. TAS Performance Measures and Indicators
    5. Glossary of Acronyms

VOLUME II

  1. IRS Response and National Taxpayer Advocate’s Comments Regarding Most Serious Problems Identified in 2017 Annual Report to Congress