Category: Tax Resolution Hot Sheet

Tax Resolution Hot Sheet™ #6: Tax Pro Account, Data Security and Sharpening the Saw

In this issue:

  • Tax Pro Account – A new version of something old
  • Data Security – Are you taking it seriously?
  • Time to Sharpen the Saw

This is Dan this week. I am going to keep it short as today is my 27th wedding anniversary and I am going to spend a wonderful day with my wife.

Tax Pro Account – A new version of something old

The IRS released recently that tax professionals can input a Form 2848 and gain immediate access to a client/taxpayer’s tax account. You can access the Tax Pro Account page at with this link.

If you already have an eservices account, then there is nothing special for you to do.  Just login like you were accessing your online eservices account.

The trick here is that your client also has to have an online IRS Account, which they can do here. If they cannot access an IRS online account, you have to do it the old fashioned way.

This new access is an offshoot of the old DA (Direct Authorization) system, where we could access our eservices account and input directly the Form 2848 and have immediate access to IRS transcripts.  The IRS took this away in 2015 due to the risk and potential for fraud.  Glad to see there are bring this back, in a new form.  Only time will tell to see how successful (or stressful on us) this will be.

I suggest you read the info on the Tax Pro Account page as well as the online IRS Account page in grave detail so you understand the process. It will make life so much easier if you can access the transcripts now than waiting for the CAF to process your POA or waiting hours to talk to PPS.

Data Security – Are you taking it seriously?

I have been attending the IRS Tax Forum for almost the last 13 years. As an experienced tax pro, I don’t learn a ton of new things, but I do get a few good nuggets of information each year. There are also a number of topics that you see year after year that you have to get the feeling they are trying to tell you something.

Data Security is just one of those topics. If you are not already getting enough emails (yeah, I know that is an LOL moment), then I suggest you sign up for … Continue reading

Tax Resolution Hot Sheet™ #5: IRS Levy Procedural Deviations for ACTC

In this issue:

  • Three procedural deviations on levy action in relation to ACTC, Recovery Rebates, and RRF Payments
  • Are you meeting the needs of your clients?

A Trio of Procedural Deviations in Relation to Certain Levies
Two IRM procedural deviations were issued on July 13, 2021, to join one that was issued March 18, 2021, in relation to levy action taken against tax debtors that receive certain federal payments. These are of no surprise to any tax pro, of course, but it’s nice to see the Service still paying attention to such small details that can directly impact the lives of millions of Americans.

These SB/SE Collection memos can be found here:

Each memo says more or less the same thing, just in relation to a different source of funds. In short, the procedural deviations stipulate that the IRS must release levies that attach to any account containing funds from one of the three sources. Also, IRS personnel should not issue levies against bank accounts that are known to contain such funds.

If a Collection employee believes that such an account should still be levied, each memo specifies that such levies must be run up the flagpole to either an Area Director or Campus Director before commencing with levy action or refusing to release such a levy.

For 1040 tax debtors with children in particular, this can, for all intents and purposes, provide a get out of levy free card. Since levies should not be issued on accounts to which Advance Child Tax Credit funds are deposited until the conclusion of such monthly payments in December 2021, a shrewd taxpayer representative can effectively “shield” one client bank account from levy action through the end of the year. If your client is eligible for ACTC payments, but is foregoing them to avoid having to deal with potential issues in 2022, it might be worth rethinking that.

Protecting clients from levy action is one of the biggest benefits that a tax pro can bring to a tax debtor, and this can now provide a short-term avenue for doing so, thus giving you time to correct the other underlying issues that got the taxpayer in trouble in the first place.

Ready to learn more about levy releases? Check out CTR-161: Levies & Levy Releases for 2 CE/CPE hours, inside the Tax Resolution Continue reading

Tax Resolution Hot Sheet™ #4: Appeals – Digital Signatures, Digital Case Files

In this issue:

  • Reissuance of digital signature guidance for Appeals
  • Extension of electronic case file pilot for Examination Appeals
  • Make just one more cold call

Extension of Digital Signature Guidance
Today, we have a pair of Appeals-related guidance extensions to discuss. First up is memo AP-08-0521-0015. In response to the pandemic last year, Appeals basically had no other choice than to create a procedural deviation to allow for digital signatures on many documents. More specifically, this change related to digital images of signatures, which are usually verboten.

In other words, Appeals was able to temporarily accept signatures that were drawn on computer — e.g., there was never a wet ink signature to start with. It’s also important to note that these are NOT true “digital signatures”, which have some sort of authentication protocol attached to them. This is literally just drawing a signature with your mouse, or taking a photo of a signature with your phone and cropping it, and then copy/pasting it into the IRS form, with no security provisions.

In other departments, such as the CAF Unit, we’ve already seen relatively quick (by government standards) creation of true digital signature options. It’s my hope that the Service will expand those technologies to all departments sooner rather than later, making life easier for everybody.

Also in this procedural deviation is the ability for Appeals personnel to receive taxpayer documents via email and to send taxpayers documents via SecureZip. We can only hope that this is going well, and that in the future we can do the same with Collections and Examination. Then we’d really be living the dream, eh?

These temporary provisions were set to expire, but have been extended through Dec. 31, 2021.

Electronic Case Files in Field Examination Appeals
IRS field units still use paper files for the vast majority of the work they do. When a taxpayer is getting put through the ringer on either the Collection or Exam side, there’s a massive amount of paper created. Running an audit from an iPad? Pfft, maybe by 2050, if we’re lucky. 🙂

But, at least there are some steps in the right direction. Within SB/SE, there has been a pilot program running for a little while (pre-COVID) that allows for digital case files for certain types of field examination. These are mostly individual income tax examinations that are being run under this program. Payroll tax, excise tax, gift … Continue reading