Taxpayer Advocate Outlines 2024 Recommendations for the IRS

taxpayerEach year, the National Taxpayer Advocate delivers an annual report to Congress. This year, the report includes 66 recommendations aimed at improving services to taxpayers, boosting taxpayer rights, and helping the IRS do its job better.


The Purple Book is a compilation of recommendations developed through the National Taxpayer Service (TAS). Recommendations made from time to time, as well as new suggestions are included in the book. There are several categories of recommendations, including:

  • Taxpayer Rights
  • Improvement of the filing process
  • Improvement of Assessment and Collection processes


Below are some recommendations from the Purple Book for three of these categories.


Taxpayer rights

  • To strengthen the messaging that taxpayer rights are valued, the TAS recommends making the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR) the first section of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).
  • Create a requirement for the IRS to process a taxpayer claim for a refund or credit in a timely way. Current law does not require the IRS to even respond to a taxpayer's request for a refund. TAS suggests revising the IRC to require the IRS to act on a claim within three years.


Filing process

  • While paper returns are considered on time if postmarked by midnight on the date due, electronic returns are considered late if the IRS receives a return through its Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) the next day.  The site displays the warning, “Payments using this website or our voice response system must be scheduled by 8 p.m. ET the day before the due date to be received timely by the IRS.”  The TAX simply recommends paper and electronic returns are treated similarly.


Improvement of Assessment and Collection processes

  • The IRS currently has no credentialing requirement for individuals acting as paid tax preparers for others. To safeguard taxpayers, the TAX recommends that paid preparers pass a competency test, meet standards of conduct, and are required to take continuing education courses regarding federal tax laws on an annual basis. The TAS also asks that the IRS have the authority to revoke the Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) of preparers who act improperly or illegally. Currently, the IRS is unable to revoke the PTIN of tax preparers due to their conduct.


These are just four of 66 recommendations put forward by the TAS. The suggestions are described by the TAX as commonsense and straightforward. Now it is up to the legislature to review the recommendations and act on behalf of American taxpayers.


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