On January 11, 2012 National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson released her annual report to Congress, identifying the combination of the IRS’s expanding workload and declining resources as the most serious problem facing taxpayers. The result, the report says, is inadequate taxpayer service, erosion of taxpayer rights, and reduced tax compliance. The Advocate expressed her continuing concern that the IRS’s expanding use of automated processes to adjust tax liabilities is causing harm to taxpayers and recommended that Congress enact a comprehensive Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
1.10 While the process is not mandated by statute, the Service has, for over 60 years, provided taxpayers with an administrative alternative to litigating their tax disputes in court [Reg. § 601.106]. Now commonly referred to as Appeals, this administrative branch of the IRS generally has the final power and authority of the IRS to determine audit liabilities of taxpayers
Many tax controversies are better resolved sooner rather than later. Accordingly, it is often to your client’s advantage for you to begin work on the case promptly. Your first goal should be to accurately gather the necessary information. You must control this information gathering process. Otherwise, the client will often inundate you with reams of useless information while neglecting to hand over truly important documents. The initial interview with the client is an important step in your preparation for audit.