Newsletters

IRS Commissioner Rettig Makes Case For More Funding, Applicants

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rettig praised the work of agency employees throughout the COVID-19 pandemic but stated that there simply are not enough of them as the agency is slowly working through the backlog the pandemic caused.

Rettig used that as the foundation to call for not only more funding for the agency, but to encourage people to apply for open positions within the agency, especially as it is facing significant employee shortages in the coming years.

“I appreciate your patience and understanding and working with us,” he said November 16 at the AICPA & CIMA National and Sophisticated Tax Planning Conferences in Washington, D.C., acknowledging how challenging it has been for them to be working with the IRS throughout the pandemic.

One issue has been the backlog in mail, which by July 2020, there were more than 20 million pieces of mail stockpiled Rettig said.

An Extreme Spike In Calls Received

He also noted that during the pandemic, the agency has been receiving a significantly higher number of phone calls. By August 2021, the agency received 246 million calls being handled by less than 15,000 customer service representatives. He said that on March 15, the calls were coming in at a rate of 1,500 calls per second. By comparison, the IRS received 42 million calls in 2019 and 44 million calls in 2020.

The average call in 2021 was also four minutes longer than in previous years, he said.

With that in mind, Retting stated that taxpayers and the tax professionals who help them deserve the timely responses they may not be getting, whether by mail or over the phone, because of workplace protocols that make some of these processes challenging and cause delays and issues between departments within the agency.

However, Rettig noted the constraints of working for the government are keeping the agency from expanding as it would simply do if it was a private firm.

“Level of service is an appropriated item,” meaning the IRS simply could not hire more people to man the phones or open the mail without getting more money from Congress to do so. “This should help frame up for you the importance of a properly funded Internal Revenue Service.”

He also noted that in the next six years, the agency is going to lose 52,000 employees.

“Our rebuild is critical for you and for the country,” he said. “If you ever thought about coming to work for the government, no better way to say it than now is the time. You can make a difference.”

If You See Something, Say Something

The other clear message he wanted to pass along to attendees of the conference was to be vocal with the agency about what is going on in the field so the agency can continue to improve. Rettig noted his work as a professional CPA prior to taking on the commissioner’s role and how he remains in regular contact with his professional peers from his time in private practice.

“You should be a part of this,” he said, emphasizing that he is easily reachable.

But he also mentioned that he has heard tax professionals that he knows complain in public forums about things without bringing it to his direct attention.

“If I know it and I don’t do something, that’s on me,” he said. “Continue to help us help others.”

FL - Guidance issued on affidavit required to claim exemption for boats sold to nonresident purchasers

Guidance is issued regarding changes that have been made to the affidavit required to claim the sales tax exemption for […]

Read More
FL - Guidance issued on affidavit required to claim exemption for boats sold to nonresident purchasers

FL - Storm Extensions Offered

The Florida Department of Revenue is offering corporate income tax return filing extensions for businesses in counties affected by severe […]

Read More
FL - Storm Extensions Offered

FL - Credit for employing individuals with unique abilities discussed

Florida issued guidance that discusses the new corporate income tax credit for employing individuals with unique abilities. The guidance includes […]

Read More
FL - Credit for employing individuals with unique abilities discussed

FL - Indexed tax rate on asphalt for 2024-2025 announced

Florida issued guidance that discusses the new corporate income tax credit for employing individuals with unique abilities. The guidance includes […]

Read More
FL - Indexed tax rate on asphalt for 2024-2025 announced

IRS Tightens Scrutiny on Employee Retention Credit Claims, IR-2024-169

The IRS has announced plans to deny tens of thousands of high-risk Employee Retention Credit (ERC) claims while beginning to process lower-risk claims. The agency’s review has […]

Read More
IRS Tightens Scrutiny on Employee Retention Credit Claims, IR-2024-169

Seniors Warned of Rising Impersonation Scams, IR-2024-164

The IRS has issued a warning about the increasing threat of impersonation scams targeting seniors. These scams involve fraudsters posing as government officials, including IRS agents, […]

Read More
Seniors Warned of Rising Impersonation Scams, IR-2024-164

Clean Hydrogen Credit Inflation Factors and Applicable Amounts for 2023 and 2024 Released, Notice 2024-45

The IRS released the inflation adjustment factors and the resulting applicable amounts for the clean hydrogen production credit for 2023 and 2024. For 2023, the inflation adjustment factor is one, so the inflation adjusted applicable amounts are the same as those in Code Sec. 45V(b). Thus, the applicable amounts for a […]

Read More
Clean Hydrogen Credit Inflation Factors and Applicable Amounts for 2023 and 2024 Released, Notice 2024-45

Inflation Adjusted Credit Rate for Carbon Dioxide Sequestration Released, Notice 2024-39

The IRS has released the inflation adjustment factor for the credit for carbn dioxide (CO2) sequestration under Code Sec. 45Q for 2024. The inflation adjustment factor is 1.3877, and the credit is $27.75 per metric ton […]

Read More
Inflation Adjusted Credit Rate for Carbon Dioxide Sequestration Released, Notice 2024-39

United States-Russia Tax Treaty To Be Suspended, Announcement 2024-26

The United States has provided formal notice to the Russian Federation on June 17, 2024, to confirm the suspension of the operation […]

Read More
United States-Russia Tax Treaty To Be Suspended, Announcement 2024-26

IRS Issues FAQs on Disaster Relief Related to Retirement Plans, FS-2024-19; IR-2024-132

The IRS issued frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to distributions from retirement plans and IRS for individuals impacted by federally declared disasters. These FAQs cover the ongoing disaster relief for certain distributions […]

Read More
IRS Issues FAQs on Disaster Relief Related to Retirement Plans, FS-2024-19; IR-2024-132