Monday, February 3, 2014

IRS Changes to Assistance and Taxpayer Services

Are you getting more calls from taxpayers with questions or needing tax preparation services?  This may be why.  The official title to the document is Some IRS Assistance and Taxpayer Services Shift to Automated Resources and was posted on on December 20, 2013.  Just in case you missed it, here is a summary of these changes.

Beginning with this filing season IRS has made the following changes.  The introduction of the document says “The changes, which were made following input from stakeholders in the tax community, reflect the need for increased use of automated self-service options.  With limited resources to support person-to-person services on the phone or at Taxpayer Assistance Centers, the IRS is emphasizing services, such as those found on, to help meet a number of taxpayer needs.  This approach will free up IRS assistors on the phone or in person to help with issues that cannot be resolved through other avenues, such as issues involving identity theft.”

TAX RETURN PREPARATION – Instead of assisting in the limited tax return preparation that IRS has done for years, IRS will now be directing qualified taxpayers to the nearest volunteer partner sites across the country such as the VITA program locations.

NEW “GET TRANSCRIPT” SERVICE – IRS has created a new online request option called “Get Transcript” on which will allow individual taxpayers with an SSN to instantly view and print a copy of their tax transcripts.  It has transcripts for tax account, tax return, record of account, wage and income, and verification of non-filing.

TAX LAW ASSISTANCE – IRS states the majority of the questions it gets are about basic tax law issues, such as filing status, dependents, exemptions, and taxable income.  IRS will continue to answer these basic law questions during each filing season.  Taxpayers seeking help with other, more detailed tax law questions that frequently take more time to address will be referred to a number of other resources available on, IRS tax publications, and the software packages taxpayers may already be using.  In other words it appears IRS is not going to answer any of these more complicated questions.  Watch for taxpayers to call your offices for help.

TAX REFUND INQUIRIES – IRS will refer inquiring taxpayers to the “Where’s My Tax Refund” tool on, the automated telephone system, and the IRS2Go phone app.  IRS customer service will only be able to research refund status for returns that were efiled more than 20 days prior to the call OR paper filed more than six weeks prior to the call.

PRACTITIONER PRIORITY SERVICE – Apparently taxpayers have discovered the PPS phone number and are using it because IRS reports it has received many calls from taxpayers.  Now IRS will limit the PPS to tax professionals and requests related to resolving client related issues.  All other requests will be referred to “other appropriate resources for service.”

EMPLOYER IDENTIFICATION NUMBER – All EIN requests will now be referred to the EIN Online Assistant and refer only those with questions about a previously assigned EIN to a live IRS representative.

No comments:

Post a Comment