The National Taxpayer Advocate is required by statute to submit a year-end report to Congress that, among other things, describes at least 20 of the most serious problems facing taxpayers and makes administrative recommendations to mitigate those problems. This report includes a second volume containing the IRS’s general responses to each of the problems the Advocate identified in her 2016 year-end report as well as specific responses to each recommendation. In addition, it contains TAS’s analysis of the IRS’s responses and, in some cases, details TAS’s disagreement with the IRS’s position.
Overall, the Advocate made 93 administrative recommendations in her 2016 year-end report, and the IRS has implemented or agreed to implement 35 of the recommendations, or 38 percent. The agreed implementation rate is lower than last year’s. Out of 116 administrative recommendations proposed in the Advocate’s 2015 year-end report, the IRS implemented or agreed to implement 65 of the recommendations, or 56 percent.
Tax administration is a complex field with many trade-offs required. Reading both the office’s critique and IRS’s responses in combination provides readers with a broader perspective on key issues, the IRS’s rationale for its policies and procedures, and alternative options TAS recommends.