“I love dealing with the IRS,” said no one, ever. But, President Trump has signed a bill that will reform the IRS in an effort to make it more taxpayer-friendly. You’ll still have to pay your taxes, and rule breakers will still be punished, but hopefully, the average person will have a better experience with the agency when it comes to customer service, identity theft protection, and payment. The Taxpayer First Act is aimed at creating a plan for a better IRS experience.
The Taxpayer First Act will force the IRS to develop a comprehensive customer service strategy. The goal is for the IRS to adopt the best practices of private sector customer-service providers, update training materials for employees, and quantitatively measure their progress on new customer-service initiatives. One bonus will be that the IRS will directly accept credit and debit card payments for taxes. The agency will also be required to look into how to minimize fees when entering into contracts with credit card companies.
If you’ve ever been in a dispute with the IRS over whether you’re eligible for a deduction, you know that it can be a lengthy process if the Office of Appeals won’t look at your case. Now, the IRS independent appeals process will be available to all taxpayers with a legitimate claim. And if a request is denied, the agency must provide you with written notice of the reason why.
The Taxpayer First Act requires the IRS to take new measures to prevent identity theft. Within five years, anyone will be able to request a special identity protection personal identification number when filing tax returns. The agency will now have to notify you if it suspects or detects identity theft, and victims of identity theft will have a single point of contact within the IRS who is responsible for tracking the taxpayer’s case.
The Taxpayer First Act will also put rules in place to better protect taxpayer information. Previously, contractors and attorneys could access taxpayer records, but now attorneys will not be able to, and contractors will not be allowed to under most circumstances. And, only IRS employees are now able to question summoned witnesses under oath.
Despite the improvements to the IRS, tax time will still be a stressful time. It’s important to think about your tax burden in retirement and how to minimize it. The professionals at Bradshaw Financial Planning can help you create a retirement plan with your future tax burden in mind. Schedule your no-cost, no-obligation financial review today.