As the IRS modernizes its policies, practices and systems, SCACPA believes tax professionals should have as many tools as possible in one place to aid taxpayers in successfully adhering to the updated tax code.

That’s why at the conclusion of May’s AICPA’s Spring Meeting of Council, SCACPA representatives were among the several hundred CPAs from across the country who met with members of Congress and their staffs to ask for their support of consolidating existing IRS units into a Practitioner Services Division.

The IRS’s Division would act as a liaison for professional practitioners and the IRS’s operating divisions. It could provide telephone assistance to preparers representing clients with complex tax problems.

These efforts to get taxpayer issues more efficiently resolved are proving effective. IRS Commissioner Rettig announced this month he is considering the creation of a Practitioner Services Division.

“I’m aware of it. I’m sensitive to it. And I understand the need for it,” Rettig said at the IRS Nationwide Tax Forum. He is also a former longtime tax practitioner.

SCACPA believes that the development of this Division is a key component of the ongoing modernization of the IRS and can provide practitioners with the ability to help taxpayers more easily navigate the complexities of the U.S. tax code. SCACPA encourages Congress to support the creation of the Practitioner Services Division through administrative means.

At the Spring meeting, then- SCACPA Board Chair Dr. Clarence Coleman, CPA, current Board Chair Zoe Davis, CPA, and our AICPA Elected Member of Council Tim Baker, CPA, were among those attending the AICPA Spring Meeting of Council who visited the offices of South Carolina’s Senators and Congressional Representatives to share how tax practitioners rely on so many different IRS tools situated throughout the organization to resolve client tax issues. They also pointed out how the operating systems for these programs do not easily communicate with each other and do not have access to the same taxpayer information.

SCACPA’s efforts on Capitol Hill to encourage the administrative creation of the Practitioners Services Division has raised awareness, and we will work to keep the effort moving to ensure it remains part of the IRS’ overall modernization plan.

The creation of the Practitioners Services Division is something that we hope all members of Congress will support. The announcement by IRS Commissioner Rettig is an encouraging step, and we must continue to express strong support for this action as the IRS works to develop its restructuring and modernization plan.

The IRS is undergoing many changes as a result of recent legislation, including the IRS Modernization Act and the Taxpayer First Act of 2019 (H.R. 3151), recently signed by the President that requires the Treasury Secretary to present to Congress a written reorganization plan by Sept. 30, 2020.

While the announcement from the IRS is promising, we must continue our efforts until this important division is established, and SCACPA will continue to advocate for tax preparers and IRS efficiency.