Three years ago the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recommended that the IRS change its practices regarding tax lien notices, and from the looks of this year’s lien notice audit, it does not appear that the IRS has any intentions of doing so.
Today TIGTA released its 2012 lien notice audit to the public and some of the same problems they identified in 2009 still linger. The issue that the IRS has swept under the rug and ignored for the past 3 years has to do with notifying taxpayers’ representatives of a lien filing. Specifically, they’re not consistently doing it. The IRS promptly notifies taxpayers by mail when it registers a lien against them, and it is supposed to send the same notice to their attorney, CPA, or other representative with a Form 2848 Power of Attorney on file.
[A]s noted in previous audits, the IRS did not always follow its own internal guidelines for notifying taxpayer representatives of the filing of the NFTL. Therefore, the rights of some taxpayers may have been violated when the IRS did not notify their representatives of lien filings.
~ J. Russell George, TIGTA
Furthermore, the IRS does not always send lien notices to the taxpayers’ last known address. According to the report, there are instances in which returned lien notices with bad addresses could be resent to the correct addresses, but nothing is done about it. Just another instance of TIGTA needing more teeth to actually enforce rather than recommend.