WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) joined a bipartisan and bicameral group of over 100 colleagues in a letter to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that reiterates ongoing taxpayer concerns and urges the agency to address customer service and processing issues. Senator Cardin is a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee that oversees the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Senator Van Hollen chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, which funds and oversees the IRS.
“We remain concerned that the IRS does not have a comprehensive plan to remedy the numerous problems affecting taxpayers, despite the fact that this filing season is already well underway,” wrote the lawmakers to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig. “For example, there is continued confusion about which notices may be unilaterally suspended by the IRS, beyond the notices the IRS has already suspended, among other issues.”
In the letter, the lawmakers requested the IRS specifically address which notices are statutorily required to be issued within a specific time, and why there are still certain notices that have not yet been suspended.
This letter is supported by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA), Padgett Business Services, National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA), National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP), National Society of Accountants (NSA), National Conference of CPA Practitioners (NCCPAP), National Association of Black Accountants, Inc. (NABA), Latino Tax Pro, Diverse Organization of Firms Advocacy Committee , National Society of Black Certified Public Accountants (NSBCPA), Prosperity Now, and National Society of Tax Professionals (NSTP).
Senators Cardin and Van Hollen have long been sounding the alarm about customer service performance and the agency’s massive processing backlogs. Last month, Senators Van Hollen and Cardin urged the IRS to take immediate actions to reduce its massive backlog and improve its customer service during the 2022 tax filing season. Shortly after sending out the letter, the IRS announced it would be putting together a second surge team to help address the massive backlogs and continue to improve customer service. In late January, the Senators also sent a bipartisan, bicameral letter calling on the IRS to provide penalty relief for taxpayers – spurring the agency to temporarily halt some, but not all of the penalty notifications.
In addition to Senators Cardin and Van Hollen, the Senate version of the letter was signed by Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Mark Kelley (D-Ariz.), Angus King (I-Maine), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga. ), and Todd Young (R-Ind.).
The House version of the letter was signed by U.S. Representatives Jamie Raskin (D-Md.-08), David Trone (D-Md.-06), Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.-20), Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.-07), Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.-26), Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.-12), and Mike Kelly (R-Pa.-16), Alma Adams (D-N.C.-12), Don Bacon (R-Neb.-02), Jim Banks (R-Ind.-03), Andy Barr (R-Ky.-06), Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.-16), Julia Brownley (D-Calif.-26), Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.-08), Ted Budd (R-N.C.-13), G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.-01), Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.-24), Judy Chu (D-Calif.-27), Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.-11), Rick Crawford (R-Ark.-01), Charlie Crist (D-Fla.-13), Jason Crow (D-Colo.-06), Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.-04), Antonio Delgado (D-N.Y.-19), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.-01), Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.-05), Michael Guest (R-Miss.-03), Diana Harshbarger (R-Tenn.-01), Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.-06), Richard Hudson (R-N.C.-08), Trent Kelly (R-Miss.-01), Daniel Kildee (D-Mich.-05), Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.-06), Young Kim (R-Calif.-39), Ann Kuster (D-N.H.-02), David Kustoff (R-Tenn.-08), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.-03), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.-12), Kathy E. Manning (D-N.C.-06), Betty McCollum (D-Minn.-04), Patrick T. McHenry (R-N.C.-10), Peter Meijer (R-Mich.-03), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa-02), Joseph Morelle (D-N.Y.-25), Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.-02), Gregory Murphy (R-N.C.-03), Jay Obernolte (R-Calif.-08), Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.-01), Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.-04), Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.-06), Katie Porter (D-Calif.-45), Tom Reed (R-N.Y.-23), Bradley Schneider (D-Ill.-10), David Schweikert (R-Ariz.-06), Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.-11), Bryan Steil (R-Wis.-01), W. Gregory Steube (R-Fla.-17), Thomas Suozzi (D-N.Y.-03), Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.-15), Dina Titus (D-Nev.-01), Paul D. Tonko (D-N.Y.-20), Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas-24), Daniel Webster (R-Fla.-11), Bruce Westerman (R-Ark. -04), and Nikema Williams (D-Ga.-05).
Full text of the letter can be found HERE and below.
Dear Commissioner Rettig,
We appreciate the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)’s ongoing efforts to eliminate the unprecedented backlog at the IRS. We remain concerned that the IRS does not have a comprehensive plan to remedy the numerous problems affecting taxpayers, despite the fact that this filing season is already well underway. For example, there is continued confusion about which notices may be unilaterally suspended by the IRS, beyond the notices the IRS has already suspended, among other issues.
Given that the IRS has not provided us with any additional information since your last correspondence dated February 8, 2022, we ask for responses to the following questions, no later than the close of business on Monday, March 14, 2022:
- Which remaining unsuspended notices does the IRS have the authority to suspend? Please explain why the IRS has left these remaining notices unsuspended.
- Is the IRS in the process of working to suspend additional notices? If so, when will that work be completed?
- Which notices are statutorily required to be issued within a specific time? Would the IRS suspend these statutory notices if the IRS had the legal authority to do so?
- Explain why the IRS has not suspended notice CP2000, Notice of Underreported Income?
- Notwithstanding the publication of Notice 2021-39, widespread controversy surrounding Schedules K-2 and K-3 remains, including recent additional instructions, the inability to electronically file, and lingering uncertainty surrounding many requirements. As such, is the IRS contemplating relief, such as delaying implementation to 2023?
- In early February, the IRS advised Congress that it was considering a systemic process to identify pending penalty abatement requests, and likewise evaluating penalty relief options. Has the IRS determined if it can provide penalty relief for taxpayers as previously offered by the IRS for the 2020 and 2021 tax year? If not, why not?
Thank you for your continued attention to this important matter.