Right to Representation Threatened by IRS Carelessness

Didn’t I just write about taxpayer rights?  Didn’t I say something about how the IRS is not interested in protecting taxpayer rights?  The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released a report today that exposes IRS’ disgregard for taxpayers’ right to representation.  I usually like being right, but not when it’s something like this that threatens access to tax relief.

There are procedures in place that are supposed to ensure that the tax attorney, or other representative, is kept in the loop with regard to certain key actions.  For example, an IRS Revenue Officer is not supposed to contact the taxpayer directly when there is a Power of Attorney on file, and a Revenue Officer is supposed to send copies of correspondence to the authorized representative.  However, the procedures are not being followed by some revenue officers and the procedures are not being enforced by some key management personnel.

I realize this is not a direct denial of the right to representation, but any action (or inaction) that would weaken the benefits associated with this right is troubling and should be viewed as a significant threat.  TIGTA’s report mentions that nobody complained about the infringements on their right to representation in any of the sample cases in it’s study, and I find this equally troubling.