The Taxpayer Advocate Service Assisted Thousands of Taxpayers With CARES Act Issues but Faced Challenges in Identifying and Tracking Applicable Cases
People First Initiative Actions Helped Taxpayers During the Pandemic; However, Many Taxpayers Received Inaccurate Collection Notices
Steps Were Taken to Protect Employee Health and Safety, but Additional Efforts Are Needed to Ensure Compliance With Federal Guidelines During Pandemics
Inspection of Health and Safety Measures at Select IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Continued Assessment of the IRS’s Efforts to Address the Backlog of Its Tax Processing Operations
The overall objective of this review is to continue to assess the IRS’s efforts to address backlogs of work in its various Submission Processing functions both carried over from the 2020 Filing Season and additional backlogs resulting from the IRS’s inability to timely process tax returns and other tax account work received during the 2021 Filing Season. This review addresses the major management challenge of Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Review of IRS’s Customer Service Efforts to Assist Taxpayers With the Child Tax Credit Portal and Non-Portal Updates
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration is initiating a review of the Internal Revenue Service’s customer service efforts to assist taxpayers in determining their eligibility and updating their personal information in order to qualify for advance payments of the Child Tax Credit. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which became law on March 11, 2021, increases the amount of the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 to $3,000 per child under the age of 18 ($3,600 for children under 6). The American Rescue Plan Act also requires the IRS to develop an online portal, known as the Child Tax Credit Update Portal. Taxpayers that do not have access to the Internet will be able to contact the IRS using a dedicated phone line or visit a Taxpayer Assistance Center to either opt-out or update their information.
Assessment of the IRS Efforts to Prioritize and Reduce Consistent Accounts Management Overage Inventories
Accounts Management is responsible for assisting taxpayers with questions about the tax laws, their tax account, the status of their refund and responses to many IRS notices. Accounts Management’s ability to timely resolve taxpayer’s issues directly effects the customer service and experience provided to the taxpayer. Accounts Management has consistently had a high percentage of overage inventory for many years. The overage inventory has grown worse because of the IRS closures related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), which caused a backlog of mail at Tax Processing Centers and Campus Support sites. Because most of Accounts Management inventory is initiated by the taxpayer, delays in getting through the backlog of mail causes inventory to be overage before it makes it to Accounts Management.
Expanded Eligibility for the Premium Tax Credit
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration is initiating a review to evaluate the Internal Revenue Service’s efforts to implement the Premium Tax Credit tax law changes affected by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which became law on March 11, 2021, waives the repayment of any excess advanced Premium Tax Credit received by marketplace participants during Calendar Year 2020. Additionally, the American Rescue Plan Act increases the Premium Tax Credits for all income brackets for coverage years beginning in 2021 and 2022.