The IRS’s Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) division has recently issued significant new tax procedures for its examinations of tax-exempt organizations. The new process is expected to increase efficiency and accountability for both the IRS and the taxpayer. The Commissioner of TE/GE indicated that “(t)his process seeks to overcome issues that lead to prolonged cycle time and undue taxpayer burden.”
Highlights in the new tax procedures that specifically increase efficiency include:
- The IRS examiner will research and identify the taxpayer’s specific potential audit issue(s) before he or she sends the audit letter to the taxpayer.
- The auditor will call the taxpayer to discuss the issue(s) being audited and the items on the draft Information Document Requests (IDR), and will clarify the IDR, if needed, before finalizing.
Accountability will increase due to the following:
- The taxpayer and auditor will agree on dates – taxpayer’s response date and examiner’s date to review the IDR response for completeness.
- If the taxpayer’s response is complete, the examiner will let the taxpayer know that the response is complete, and the examination will proceed.
- If the response is not complete, the examiner may grant certain extensions.
- If the information request response remains incomplete, the examiner will follow certain enforcement steps, and will provide notification before each step –
- Issuing a Delinquency Notice
- Proposal of audit adjustment, summons for information, or proposal of revocation
- If a summons will be issued, the IRS will first issue a “Pre-Summons Notice.”
- If the taxpayer provides complete information prior to the response dates required for each of these enforcement steps, the examiner will notify the taxpayer, enforcement will end, and the examination will proceed.
In addition to these new procedures which will be in effect on April 1, 2017, the Commissioner of TE/GE also issued best practices as an attachment to its internal memo on the new IDR process. Here is a link to the IRS‘s internal memo for the new required IDR process and suggested best practices.
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