TIGTA Reveals IRS Office of Appeals Routinely Ignores Power of Attorneys – Los Angeles Income Tax Planning and Income Tax Litigation Attorney Bruce Givner

by Bruce Givner on November 7, 2013

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has required rules and procedures for how its Office of Appeals communicates with taxpayers. See IRC Sections 7521(b)(2) and (c). Each year the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is required to determine if the IRS has met the requirements of these two code sections. In its recent annual report, TIGTA noted that the IRS Office of Appeals routinely ignores the rules and procedures which require the IRS to end all discussions with a taxpayer once the taxpayer informs the IRS he or she wishes to engage a representative, and get supervisory approval to ignore a power of attorney (POA).

From October 2011 through September 2012, TIGTA noted that the Office of Appeals closed over 70 thousand cases. In 13 cases, a taxpayer filed a direct contact complaint. Two of these 13 cases resulted in the IRS disciplining or counseling employees regarding their actions. In a further review of 96 statistically selected cases, TIGTA found that in 11 cases, without supervisory approval, the Office of Appeals ignored the POA and directly contacted the taxpayer or did not send copies of its correspondence with the taxpayer to the POA. Further, the case files contained no documentation that showed management reviewed or noted these violations.

As a result of the most recent audit, the IRS has accepted TIGTA’s recommendation to update its manual to further clarify its rules and procedures on contact with taxpayers with properly filed POAs. The IRS will also enact further training of Office of Appeals personnel.

Givner & Kaye focuses on sophisticated income tax planning and compliance, tax litigation and procedure, estate planning, and asset protection plans for individuals and businesses in Beverly Hills, Calabasas, West Los Angeles, Hollywood, and other areas of Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside and Santa Barbara Counties. Call Los Angeles Estate Planning and Asset Protection Plan Attorneys Givner & Kaye at (310) 207-8008 today.

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