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Report: IRS Lacking Timeliness In Correspondence

A recent study found that the IRS didn't respond to correspondence with taxpayers in a timely matter. According to the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), the Internal Revenue Service often does not respond to taxpayer correspondence within its self-imposed policy of 30 days. The July report found that, out of 73 correspondence cases sampled from the agency’s accounts management department, only 14 received timely and accurate responses.

In 1998, the IRS established policy statement P-6-12, which requires responses to taxpayers within 30 days. But if the agency determines that a timely and accurate response cannot be issued, it’s required to send interim letters, and the study found that the IRS typically didn’t follow that policy. And since the policy went into effect in 1998, the IRS failed to establish measures or processes to evaluate responses, according to the study.

“Inadequate and untimely responses to taxpayer correspondence adversely affect taxpayers and tax administration,” TIGTA Inspector General J. Russell George in a statement, Accounting Today reported.

To improve the response rate, the TIGTA recommends that the IRS clarify instructions, re-examine P-6-12 to ensure it reflects current procedures, complete a study of interim letters, and update quality review procedures.  

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