New Tax Law Regarding Spousal Maintenance Trump’s new tax plan has made big changes for…
New Tax Law Aims to Improve Customer Service
President Trump signed a new law in July known as the “Taxpayer First Act of 2019.” The act went into effect on July 19, and it is designed to improve the overall customer service of the IRS for taxpayers. Specifically, the act will make changes to the organization of the IRS, will improve the appeals process for taxpayers, and will establish new safeguards for taxpayers.
Here’s some more detailed information on the changes:
Independent Office of Appeals
The new law attempts to make the appeals process a more fair and impartial one. The law renames the Office of Appeals to the Independent Office of Appeals, and it requires that some individual and small business taxpayers be allowed to review the administrative case file that is sent to the office. Eligible individuals include those making less than $400,000 per year in adjusted gross income, and eligible businesses must have fewer than $5 million in gross receipts for the tax year.
In addition to these changes, the new law also requires the IRS to provide notice and to issue guidance on protest procedures when their request for an appeal is denied.
Improved Customer Service
The new law does not specifically dictate how the IRS must improve its customer service. Instead, it requires the agency to develop a comprehensive strategy and to submit that plan to Congress by July of next year. The public must also have access to that plan and the training materials within the following two years.
Although the law does not dictate a strategy, it does require that the strategy include plans for online services, call backs, and improved employee training.
Innocent Spouse Relief
From the effective date, the law requires that any applications for Innocent Spouse Relief must now be considered as fresh cases, without regard for decisions that were previously made. Precedent should not be considered. The case must also be reviewed usually only newly discovered or previously unavailable evidence.
Seizure and Sale of Goods
Regarding goods that are liable to perish, such as food or produce, the new law limits the IRS’ ability to seize these goods to satisfy a tax debt. The amount of goods is limited since these may perish and lose their value.
Several reforms are made to the way the IRS interacts with whistleblowers under the new act. The IRS can exchange information with whistleblowers in order to help an investigation, but the IRS must provide the whistleblower updates about the status of claims at certain points throughout the case. These checkpoints are identified, and the IRS does not have to provide updates as demanded by the whistleblower. The law also limits the information the whistleblower can share that it learned from the IRS.
Information over Telephone
The new law requires the IRS to provide certain information over the telephone when calling taxpayers. This information includes details about known tax scams, including where the taxpayer can report such scams, and tips on how taxpayers can protect themselves against such scams.
The law provides new measures for many other topics, including low-income exceptions for offers-in-compromise, structuring transactions and seizures, John Doe summonses, taxes collected by private third-party agencies, low-income taxpayer clinics, misdirected tax refunds, identity theft, and more. It’s important that you review the law carefully to see how these changes will affect you. Overall, the law should have a positive impact on most since it is designed to improve service and transparency for taxpayers.
If you have questions about the new law and how it might change things for you, the attorneys at Silver Law PLC may be able to help you. Our experienced tax attorneys in Gilbert can review the changes with you and help you understand what changes you need to make to your tax strategy, if any. If you are currently involved in a tax dispute, we can help you understand how the new law might change things for you. Our Gilbert attorneys represent taxpayers in audits, tax litigation, and more. We can help you file for Innocent Spouse Relief, amend previous returns, and much more. Our attorneys have all worked for the IRS, so they have intimate knowledge of how these cases are handled and how to understand the law. Contact us in Arizona today to speak with a tax lawyer.
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