TIGTA: Taxpayer Advocate Service Needs Process Improvements

By:
Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Dec 9, 2016
IRS

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) issued a report saying that the Taxpayer Advocate needs better processes in place to implement the corrective actions recommended to it by the TIGTA. 

Since 2007, the TIGTA has issued eight audit reports containing 44 recommendations directed at the Taxpayer Advocate Service's (TAS) operations. Of these, the TAS agreed with 41 and said it would implement corrective actions in line with the TIGTA's recommendations. While TAS has completed many of these recommendations, a review of 20 corrective actions by the TIGTA has shown that seven actions reported as completed were, in fact, prematurely closed. Further, according to the TIGTA, the TAS did not have support to substantiate that three corrective actions had been completed, and completed three corrective actions after the reported completion date.  

In some instances the corrective actions were considered closed after the actions were initiated but before they were completed. In other cases, the TAS revised its corrective actions without consulting the TIGTA as required. Other times the TAS stated that they took steps to address some corrective actions but lacked the funding to complete them. 

TIGTA recommended that the IRS change the status of the incomplete corrective actions from closed to open; develop formal written policies requiring submission of verifiable supporting documentation, including the Form 13872, Planned Corrective Action Status Update for TIGTA/GAO/MW/SD/TAS/REM Reports, when the corrective action is closed based on a management response to a TIGTA report; and provide additional training to staff for approving and closing corrective actions

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