North Texas Representation Council Meeting Minutes December 5, 2003 Present: Cora Estep (IRS Compliance); Ron Fiedelman (TSCPA); Larry Jones (Bar); Patti Logan (TSEA); Patty Marsh (IRS TEC);); Lloyd Thelemann (TAFTS); Mark Kissell (TXNATP); Patricia Scott (TAFTS); Leonard Horton (IRS Appeals); Joseph Brophy (TSCPA); Don Whitlock (IRS W&I Compliance Services); Gene Moren (IRS TEC); Stephanie Frazee (IRS SB/SE ACS); Jeffery Eppler (IRS W&I ACS); Audrey Morris (IRS Counsel); Gwen Dawson-Green (SB/SE Communications Liaison)); Josh Ungerman (Bar) Absent: John Agee (IRS SPEC); Gayvial James (IRS TAS); Mary Howard (IRS Appeals); LG Brooks (TSEA); Laurel Cummings (IRS Local Taxpayer Advocate); Abbey Garber (IRS Counsel); Scribe: Regeina Hall The meeting began at 9:30 a.m. Larry Jones opened the meeting. The agenda was reviewed and the meeting proceeded in accordance. Jeffery Eppler, Filing and Payment Compliance Operations Manager and Stephanie Frazee, Customer Service Analyst answered questions from the Council on Wage and Investment (W&I) and Small Business Self Employed (SB/SE) Automated Collection System (ACS). They also provided current information on ACS. The questions and answers are attached. Service Centers and Call Sites ACS has become a virtual call center, with all ACS employees being eligible to answer calls anywhere in the nation. National call routing provides equal service to taxpayers by routing calls to the next available representative. This will allow for a more effective use of our staffing and should allow sites to devote more time to work on inventories. Local service will continue to be 8 am until 8 pm. The Call Sites for Wage & Investment (W&I) are: Atlanta, Puerto Rico, Seattle, Jacksonville, Austin, Fresno, Buffalo, and Kansas City. The Call Sites for Small Business Self-Employed (SB/SE) are: Oakland, Philadelphia, Denver, Brookhaven, Nashville, and Detroit. Puerto Rico handles calls for W& I and SB/SE. As of January 2002 all ACS Service Center output has been directed to four (4) service centers, instead of the previous ten (10) service centers. There are two (2) W&I support service centers, Kansas City Service Center and Fresno Service 1 North Texas Representation Council Meeting Minutes December 5, 2003 Center and two (2) SB/SE service center support sites, Cincinnati Service Center and Philadelphia Service Center. The level of service for 2003 is 81 percent. Level of service is the number of incoming calls that are handled before the taxpayer hangs up. ACS now has specialized sites. There is no special telephone number to call, the ACS employee enters the taxpayer’s taxpayer identification number (TIN) into the system and the call is directed to the appropriate site. ACS has specialized sites across the country. Installment agreements open in ACS that have defaulted more than twice are routed to the Philadelphia Call Site. ACS has assigned to the Buffalo Call Site all Nation-Wide WI cases with TDA Total Module Balances greater than $100,000. The $100,000 total will not include penalty and interest. The main Spanish line is in Puerto Rico. Austin and Fresno also have Spanish lines. ACS is considering a Taxpayer Delinquency Investigation (TDI) site. This site will handle issues relating to unfilled returns. If a taxpayer calls in with a TDI indicator on his account, depending on the dollar amount, the call will be routed to the TDI site. Taxpayer Assistance Center Personnel completed ACS training November 30, 2003. The employees can release liens, input information, set up installment agreements and send cases to be processed. They will eventually start working ACS cases. The Practitioner hotline should transfer cases to ACS. Currently ACS has 10 databases around the country. The databases will be consolidated from December 30, 2003 thru January 2, 2004. Stuffers are going out to advise individuals that the system will be down during this period. Taxpayers are asked to call after January 5, 2004. ACS telephone sites have more resources on Mondays and Tuesdays. At this time the ACS employees cannot access information for all taxpayers due to special command codes. Where the case resides and where the call is received may be different. The new database will give the employees access to more information. They will be able to access ACS cases for the past 2 years. The average wait time for ACS is 4 ½ minutes. ACS is not answering toll free calls. The direct numbers for ACS are as follows: W&I 1-800-829-7650 SB/SE 1-800-829-3903 If an account is not assigned to ACS the call will not go to ACS. If the call does not meet the ACS criteria it will automatically go to toll free. 2 North Texas Representation Council Meeting Minutes December 5, 2003 LT-11 – Notice of Intent to Levy and Collection Due Process (CDP) The LT-11 is an ACS letter. Taxpayers are informed of their CDP appeal rights by one of the following final notices. An LT 11 or Letter 1058(C), (Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to a Hearing) is usually sent certified mail, return receipt requested, but can also be given in person or left at the dwelling or usual place of business, to notify taxpayers of their right to a CDP hearing. The following enclosures are included: Copy of letter (LT11/1058C) Form 12153, Request for a Collection Due Process Hearing Publication 594, The IRS Collection Process Publication 1660, Collection Appeal Rights Envelope Many times taxpayers refuse to talk to ACS employees; therefore an agreement cannot be reached. If the IRS does not hear from the taxpayer, in some cases the LT-11 is sent out systemically based on the history of the case. The employees monitor follow up dates. As the dates pass without a response from the taxpayer, the LT-11 is automatically sent. The LT-11must be sent before the IRS can issue a levy. No systemic letters will be issued for balance dues less than $100.00 with the exception of Federal Employee Delinquency Program Disposition accounts. Form 12153 must be completed by the taxpayer and returned to the IRS. Form 12153 should be sent to the address on the form. Wage and Investment forms should be returned to Kansas City or Fresno. Small Business Self Employed (SB/SE) forms should be returned to Philadelphia or Cincinnati. The forms will go to a special team that handles CDP cases. There are three CDP teams in Kansas City. The teams conduct additional follow-up on the cases. The team members are required to contact the taxpayer to see if the case can be worked out prior to sending the case to Appeals. If the taxpayer does not respond, the case is forwarded to Appeals. The LT-12 is the Notice of Intent to Levy that goes to the Representative. There are cases where the LT-12 does not have the same date as the LT-11. This can create a problem in cases where the taxpayer does not provide a copy of the LT- 11 to the representative and the representative relies on the date on the LT-12. The letters should be sent out at the same time. Examples should be provided to Regeina Hall. The examples will be forwarded to Jeff Eppler. 3 North Texas Representation Council Meeting Minutes December 5, 2003 CP 504 – Urgent Notice – Balance Due The CP 504 is the final notice generated out of the collection bank before it actually reaches ACS. It is part of the enforcement process and Congress has mandated the issuance of the CP 504 and LT-11. The CP 504 notice informs the taxpayer that the IRS intends to issue a levy against his state tax refund because he still has a balance due on one of his tax accounts. It is also telling him that we will begin searching for other assets on which to issue a levy and that we may also file a Federal Tax Lien, if we have not already done so. Abusive Tax Avoidance Transactions Gene Moren, Sr. Tax Specialist gave a presentation on Abusive Tax Avoidance Transactions (ATAT). He discussed the external toolkits, publications, home based businesses, and prevalent Abusive Tax Avoidance Transactions in the area. A copy of the ATAT PowerPoint is attached. Gene is also the Offer In Compromise Specialist. Information pertaining to offers can be obtained 45 days after the offer has been submitted. To obtain information on doubt as to collectability or Effective Tax Administration call Memphis: 901-395-0501 or Brookhaven: 631-687-3975. You will receive information on who the offer is assigned to, where it is assigned, and the status of the offer. If the offer is being worked in a centralized site the taxpayer will receive a letter containing a telephone number. Do not call the above numbers for doubt as to liability. Examination groups work these cases. Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) Federal Tax Deposit (FTD) Penalty Refund Initiative Regeina Hall, Sr. Tax Specialist discussed the EFTPS-FTD Penalty Refund Initiative. On January 1, 2004 the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), EFTPS-FTD penalty refund offer will be implemented nationwide. This offer allows paper coupon users who were assessed a Form 941 deposit penalty the opportunity to receive a one-time penalty refund of up to $1,000. To qualify, the employer must use EFTPS for one year (four consecutive quarters) and make all their payments on time. 4 North Texas Representation Council Meeting Minutes December 5, 2003 Publication 04048, Special IRS Penalty Refund Offer, will be available in mid- December for distribution to employers, tax professionals, trade associations, financial institutions, and other stakeholders. In April 2005, after the returns are filed for the forth quarter of 2004, the IRS will automatically determine which employers have achieved the 4 quarters of EFTPS compliance and reverse the taxpayer’s most recent full-paid FTD penalty. The refunds will be issued on a quarterly basis following the scheduled Form 941 due dates. The Frequently Asked Questions and the EFTPS-FTD Penalty Refund Initiative PowerPoint are attached. Electronic Mail Services Gwen Dawson-Green distributed the most recent edition of e-News for Tax Professionals. The IRS e-News for Tax Professionals is an electronic mail service designed to provide localized, targeted and immediate information for tax professionals specifically for their geographic area. The electronic newsletter is released monthly on the first and third Tuesday. To subscribe, go to www.irs.gov contents: Tax Professionals; topics: Subscriptions; Join e-News for Tax Professionals. Subscriptions to “Quick Alerts” e-file messaging system, IRS Digital Dispatch, and Employee Plans News can also be selected under this topic. Roundtable Discussion Instead of playing music while a taxpayer is on hold, consider providing information on Abusive Tax Avoidance Transactions. Provide additional information in Publication 535 Business Expenses on the use of magnetic signs on vehicles for advertising purposes. The magnetic signs do not constitute 100% business use. A practitioner should be on the Editorial Board to offer a different perspective for news articles. Gwen Dawson-Green will forward this suggestion to her manager. All notices should include the taxpayer’s name and taxpayer identification number. 5 North Texas Representation Council Meeting Minutes December 5, 2003 Practitioners would like to have access to a current list of IRS letters with the corresponding numbers. Regeina will obtain a list for distribution at the next council meeting. Joseph Brophy and Ron Fiedleman have questions on IRS tax notices. Ron provided copies of the questionable notices to the council. Regeina will forward the notices and questions to the appropriate parties. Ron Fiedleman, CPA is a member of the Internal Revenue Service Practice and Procedures Committee. If council members have suggestions for issues that should be raised to the national level, please send the issues to Ron via e-mail. Please put AICPA recommendations in the subject line. The new Revenue Agents will go back to training in January. They will be conducting office exams in the Alpha Road office for the next two weeks. Appeals is training 70 appeals offers. There will not be an Appeals symposium in FY ’04. The lockbox for ACS payments is: P.O. Box 66000 Dallas, TX 75266-0002 Gwen Dawson-Green will publish the above address in the e-News for Tax Professionals. Topics for future meetings: Practitioner Hotline Notices If you have additional items that you would like addressed at the next meeting please e-mail the items to Regeina Hall at Regeina.D.Hall@irs.gov by February 17, 2004. The members of the North Texas Representation Council are responsible for disseminating information from the bi-monthly meetings to their organizations via e-mail and newsletters. Regeina will provide the information to the members by e-mail. Please provide her with copies of any materials sent out to your membership. The next meeting will be on Friday, February 27, 2003 at 9:30a.m, 4050 Alpha Road. You will be notified of the room number. 6 North Texas Representation Council Meeting Minutes December 5, 2003 7
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