IRS going paperless will help tax pros do their jobs better in the future

The IRS is planning on going paperless, as best as they can, starting in 2024. What does that mean for tax professionals? Well, it means a few things. First, the IRS will be able to do more with less. This allows them to shift employees to other tasks, such as manning more phone lines. Or even better, manning a digital account access point. You will able to access more through your Tax Pro Online account and you will be able to see and do more through your electronic access without involving a human being.

Below is a list of what the future will look like at the IRS and you can see, guess or infer what that will me for you as a tax professional in the areas of tax preparation, tax resolution representation and IRS exam representation.

Filing season 2024: Taxpayers will be able to go paperless

  • Taxpayers will be able to digitally submit all correspondence, non-tax forms, and responses to notices; as a result, the IRS estimates more than 94% of individual taxpayers will no longer ever need to send mail to the IRS. Taxpayers use non-tax forms to request or submit information on a range of topics, including identity theft and proof that they are eligible for key credits and deductions to help low-income households. Achieving this milestone will enable up to 125 million paper documents to be submitted digitally per year. Taxpayers who want to submit paper returns and correspondence can continue to do so.
  • Taxpayers will be able to e-file 20 additional tax forms. Achieving this milestone will enable up to 4 million additional tax documents to be filed digitally every year. This includes amendments to Forms 940, 941, 941-SS and 941 (PR), which are some of the most common forms taxpayers file when amending returns.
  • At least 20 of the most used non-tax forms will be available in digital, mobile friendly formats that make them easy for taxpayers to complete and submit. These forms will include a Request for Taxpayer Advocate Service Assistance, making it easier for taxpayers to get the help they need.

Filing season 2025: IRS achieves paperless processing for tax returns

  • By filing season 2025, an additional 150 of the most used non-tax forms will be available in digital, mobile friendly formats. An estimated 15 percent of Americans rely solely on mobile phones for their Internet access—they do not have broadband at home—and making forms available
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Plenty of work for licensed tax professionals interested in IRS Representation (i.e. IRS Tax Resolution and IRS Exam Representation)

There is plenty of work for licensed tax professionals interested in IRS Representation (i.e. IRS Tax Resolution and IRS Exam Representation)

In case you have been hiding under a rock, the IRS has been growing. This is thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act and the now just under $60 billion they are due to receive from 2022 to 2032. They have been hiring like crazy. The IRS just announced at the IRS Tax Forum that we recently attended that they have hired 2,000 Revenue Officers recently giving them 9,000 total across the U.S. They are expecting this to get over 10,000 total in the next 6 months.

What does that mean for you? The IRS is coming after your client (or prospect) soon and there is going to be a lot more work coming your way. So, get your marketing ready.

Below is a list of areas of focus for the IRS in the coming years.

Ensuring high-income taxpayers pay taxes owed

The IRS is working to ensure high-income filers pay the taxes they owe. Prior to the Inflation Reduction Act, more than a decade of budget cuts prevented IRS from keeping pace with the increasingly complicated set of tools that the wealthiest taxpayers use to hide their income and evade paying their share. The IRS is now taking swift and aggressive action to close this gap.

  • Pursuing tax-evading millionaires. In recent months, IRS Criminal Investigation has closed a lengthy list of cases in which wealthy taxpayers have been sentenced for tax evasion, money laundering and filing false tax returns. Instead of paying taxes owed, these evaders spent money owed to the government on gambling, vacations and luxury goods. (Oh, and did we say that the IRS Criminal Investigation division has a 90% conviction rate.)


  • Making delinquent millionaires pay up. In recent months, IRS closed about 175 delinquent tax cases for millionaires, generating $38 million in recoveries. IRS will continue to pursue millionaires who do not pay their taxes as the agency ramps up enforcement capabilities through the Inflation Reduction Act. Examples of schemes IRS is now pursuing include:
    •  High-dollar scheme exploiting Puerto Rico. IRS recently identified about 100 high-income individuals claiming benefits in Puerto Rico without meeting the residence and source rules involving U.S. possessions. These wealthy individuals are attempting to avoid U.S. taxation on U.S. source income, and IRS expects many of these cases to proceed to criminal investigation.


    • Pension arrangements
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What years do I include on my Power of Attorney (2848 – POA) or Tax Information Authorization (8821)

I frequently get asked by tax professionals who handle representation work (Collections and Exam), what years do I put on a Power of Attorney aka POA (Form 2848) or Tax Information Authorization (Form 8821) when I am trying to get information on a taxpayer/client, research what years they have filed or not, or need to see what payments or credits were applied?

Here is what I usually say to them. It depends. (I bet you didn’t see that one coming)

If you are having a discussion with a client and they tell you they believe the last time they filed was about 6 years ago, at a minimum I will start about 9-10 years prior to the year they said. So, if they say they last filed in 2016, then I will generally put on the Form 2848 or Form 8821 2013 to the current year.

If you just need information for 2021, in general, I still suggest putting at least 3 years prior to 2021. That would mean 2018 to 2021.

If they are really unsure or there is a very reasonable doubt as to the starting year, I will usually go back to the year 2000. I will explain to the client as it will keep me from having to go back to them and ask for another one causing further delay. I will generally tell them it can take 3-5 weeks for the IRS to process my POA (which often it does, but as of the time I am writing this, they are generally taking a week or less).

Now the next question is why would I do that? Well, there are a few reasons.

  1. the client’s fuzzy recollection may cause you to have to do another POA if you did not get all of the necessary years. For many clients, it is difficult to get them to sign one (not mention a lot of work by my team), but to two it two or more times is crazy.
  2. If you need to see if your client qualified for a first-time penalty abatement opportunity, then you will need to see if they have a clean history for the 3 years prior to the year at issue.
  3. If you don’t get it right, the IRS cannot tell/give you anything about years you do not have authority for. Occasionally, I have had a nice IRS employee on the phone tell me there is an
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