January 25, 2019 AICPA Letter to Treasury and IRS Highlights Challenges of Government Shutdown on Taxpayers and Practitioners

As this year’s tax filing season approaches, the AICPA and the New Hampshire Society of CPAs are receiving questions from members about the impact of the government shutdown on the IRS. Continuing the profession’s long-standing role as a resource to the IRS, the AICPA recently sent a letter to the Secretary of the Treasury and the IRS Commissioner expressing concern that the ongoing shutdown is burdening taxpayers and practitioners as they attempt to file complete and accurate tax returns. The letter identifies some of the more common challenges CPAs are already facing and offers recommendations to mitigate the long-term impact of the shutdown where appropriate. 

 

The letter cites challenges with:

·         Automated Notices

·         IRS Audits and Appeals

·         Online Systems and Accounts

·         Availability of Assistance

·         Implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), Including Forms and Guidance

The AICPA’s letter also offers the following recommendations:

 

·         Provide automatic extension of notices and collections until 90 days from the shutdown ending date, stop assessing penalties and interest, and cease sending automated notices;

·         Maintain the operating effectiveness of all online systems and accounts;

·         Provide full assistance to taxpayers and tax practitioners; and

·         Retain more IRS Chief Counsel attorneys for TCJA guidance.

To stay on top of developments and the profession’s advocacy efforts, visit the AICPA’s Tax Reform Resource Center at www.aicpa.org/taxreform. 

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