WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) joined Senator Todd Young (R-IN) and a group of Senate Republicans urging the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to do everything it can to support taxpayers during the current tax filing season.
In a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, the senators press the agency to provide taxpayers with targeted, temporary relief during what is widely believed to be one of the most challenging and frustrating filing seasons in recent memory for both taxpayers and the IRS.
The senators identify many of the challenges their constituents face, and recommend areas where the IRS could use its existing authority to offer meaningful relief to taxpayers.
From the letter:
“…we continue to hear from constituents who have not yet had their paper and amended returns processed, and due to a lack of information on IRS processing dates and timelines, do not know if their returns ever made it to the IRS or if they should re-file. Other taxpayers are waiting for their tax refund, some related to their 2019 tax return. This situation is untenable. When our constituents cannot get help from those tasked to administer our tax laws, it diminishes the integrity of our voluntary tax system,” the senators wrote.
The senators recommend the IRS halt automated collections for a meaningful period of time; provide targeted tax penalty relief for taxpayers; delay the collection process for filers until any active and pending penalty abatement requests have been processed; and communicate the status of IRS operations in a clear and timely manner, among other recommendations.
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) endorsed the senators’ recommendations: “The AICPA is pleased to support members in their calls for the IRS to take specific action to mitigate the anticipated challenges of the current tax filing season,” said AICPA Vice President of Taxation, Edward Karl, CPA, CGMA. “We wish to highlight the recommendation to modify the complex and confusing implementation of Schedules K-2 and K-3 by delaying until next tax year. AICPA members are already concerned about IRS backlogs and diminished services so delaying the implementation of Schedules K-2 and K-3 will help IRS focus on mitigating the problems at hand.”
Along with Boozman and Young, Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), John Cornyn (R-TX), John Thune (R-SD), Richard Burr (R-NC), Rob Portman (R-OH), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Tim Scott (R-SC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), James Lankford (R-OK), Steve Daines (R-MT), Ben Sasse (R-NE), John Barrasso (R-WY), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mike Braun (R-IN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), John Hoeven (R-ND), James Inhofe (R-OK), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Lisa Murkowksi (R-AK), Jim Risch (R-ID), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) also signed the letter.
Read the full letter here.
Boozman has consistently worked to hold the IRS accountable and urged it to improve its customer service to better serve taxpayers:
- The senator has publicly called on the agency to revamp its responsiveness rather than take on expanded authority.
- He joined his colleagues to introduce the Prohibiting IRS Financial Surveillance Act, a bill to prevent the implementation of Democrats’ plan to give the IRS access to the banking transaction information of virtually every American.
- Along with Sen. Braun, Boozman introduced legislation that will require the IRS to prioritize federal taxpayers over representational work during tax filing season.
- In light of previous incidents where the IRS targeted groups and organizations based on their political ideology or affiliation, the senator has backed a bill to prevent the agency from being used as a political weapon against American citizens.