Wednesday, January 10, 2018
IR-2018-03 (Jan. 10, 2018), National Taxpayer Advocate Delivers Annual Report to Congress; Discusses Tax Reform Implementation and Unveils “Purple Book”:
National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson today released her 2017 Annual Report to Congress, describing challenges the IRS will face as it implements the recently enacted tax reform legislation and unveiling a new publication, “The Purple Book,” that presents 50 legislative recommendations intended to strengthen taxpayer rights and improve tax administration. The report also examines a wide range of other tax administration issues, including the IRS’s administration of the private debt collection program, the agency’s increasing emphasis on online taxpayer accounts, and its implementation of a recent law that would deny or revoke the passports of taxpayers with significant tax debts.
Implementation of Tax Reform Legislation
The National Taxpayer Advocate’s report says the reduction in IRS funding since FY 2010, approximately 20 percent in inflation-adjusted terms, has challenged the agency’s ability to perform the basic tasks of administering the tax system. “As the National Taxpayer Advocate, I see daily the consequences of reduced funding of the IRS and the choices made by the agency in the face of these funding constraints,” Olson wrote in the preface to the report. “These impacts are real and affect everything the IRS does. Funding cuts have rendered the IRS unable to provide acceptable levels of taxpayer service, unable to update its technology to improve its efficiency and effectiveness, and unable to maintain compliance programs that both promote compliance and protect taxpayer rights. ’Shortcuts’ have become the norm, and ‘shortcuts’ are incompatible with high-quality tax administration.” ...
The National Taxpayer Advocate Purple Book
As part of the report, the Advocate has released a new publication, “The Purple Book,” that presents 50 legislative recommendations intended to strengthen taxpayer rights and improve tax administration. Many of the recommendations have been made in detail in prior National Taxpayer Advocate reports, but others are presented in this publication for the first time.