Spanberger, Menendez, Cassidy, Panetta, Higgins, Bilirakis, & Kelly Lead 100 Colleagues in Bipartisan, Bicameral Call for IRS to Address Ongoing Concerns and Processing Delays

Lawmakers to IRS Commissioner Rettig: “We Remain Concerned that the IRS Does Not Have a Comprehensive Plan to Remedy the Numerous Problems Affecting Taxpayers, Despite the Fact that this Filing Season is Already Well Underway”

WASHINGTON, D.C.  — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger alongside U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) — as well as U.S. Representatives Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20), Brian Higgins (D-NY-26), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-12), and Mike Kelly (R-PA-16) — led a bipartisan and bicameral group of 100 colleagues in urging the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to provide much needed relief as the agency struggles to address customer service and processing issues.

In their letter to the IRS, the bipartisan group of lawmakers made clear that the agency’s lack of action is causing unnecessary confusion, as the current 2022 tax filing season is underway. Additionally, they requested the IRS specifically address which notices are statutorily required to be issued within a specific time, and why there are still certain notices that have not yet been suspended.

“We remain concerned that the IRS does not have a comprehensive plan to remedy the numerous problems affecting taxpayers, despite the fact that this filing season is already well underway,” wrote Spanberger and her colleagues to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig. “For example, there is continued confusion about which notices may be unilaterally suspended by the IRS, beyond the notices the IRS has already suspended, among other issues.”

This letter is supported by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA), Padgett Business Services, National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA), National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP), National Society of Accountants (NSA), National Conference of CPA Practitioners (NCCPAP), National Association of Black Accountants, Inc. (NABA), Latino Tax Pro, Diverse Organization of Firms Advocacy Committee , National Society of Black Certified Public Accountants (NSBCPA), Prosperity Now, and National Society of Tax Professionals (NSTP).

“Since the beginning of tax season, the AICPA, Members of Congress, and various organizations representing taxpayers and practitioners have urged the IRS to take significant and meaningful steps to mitigate the anticipated challenges of this tax season. The AICPA is grateful to Senators Menendez and Cassidy, along with Representatives Panetta, Spanberger, Higgins, Bilirakis, and Kelly, for their persistent efforts to get taxpayers essential relief as we approach the March 15th filing deadline,” said AICPA President & CEO, Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA. “The AICPA stands in support of the letter, signed by 100 members of Congress, to Commissioner Rettig urging him to respond to questions and concerns and offer clarification on notice suspensions. The tax season is well under way, and we hope the IRS will heed the widespread calls for meaningful relief and take the necessary steps to ease taxpayers’ burden and frustration.”

Spanberger has long sounded the alarm about customer service performance and the agency’s massive processing backlogs. Last month, Spanberger and Menendez led a bicameral effort with 45 colleagues urging the IRS to take immediate actions to reduce its massive backlog and improve its customer service during the 2022 tax filing season. Shortly after sending out the letter, the IRS announced it would be putting together a second surge team to help address the massive backlogs and continue to improve customer service.

In addition to Sens. Menendez and Cassidy, the Senate version of the letter was signed by Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN.), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), John Boozman (R-AR), Mike Braun (R-IN), Richard Burr (R-NC), Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Carper (D-DE), Susan Collins (R-ME), Chris Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Mark Kelley (D-AZ), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), James Lankford (R-OK), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Rob Portman (R-OH), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Tim Scott (R-SC), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), John Thune (R-SD), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Mark Warner (D-VA), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), and Todd Young (R-IN).

Joining U.S. Representatives Spanberger, Panetta, Higgins, Bilirakis, and Kelly in signing the House version of the letter were Alma Adams (D-NC-12), Don Bacon (R-NE-02), Jim Banks (R-IN-03), Andy Barr (R-KY-06), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY-16), Julia Brownley (D-CA-26), Larry Bucshon (R-IN-08), Ted Budd (R-NC-13), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC-01), Salud Carbajal (D-CA-24), Judy Chu (D-CA-27), Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA-11), Rick Crawford (R-AR-01), Charlie Crist (D-FL-13), Jason Crow (D-CO-06), Madeleine Dean (D-PA-04), Antonio Delgado (D-NY-19), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), Virginia Foxx (R-NC-05), Michael Guest (R-MS-03), Diana Harshbarger (R-TN-01), Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA-06), Richard Hudson (R-NC-08), Trent Kelly (R-MS-01), Daniel Kildee (D-MI-05), Derek Kilmer (D-WA-06), Young Kim (R-CA-39), Ann Kuster (D-NH-02), David Kustoff (R-TN-08), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO-03), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12), Kathy E. Manning (D-NC-06), Betty McCollum (D-MN-04), Patrick T. McHenry (R-NC-10), Peter Meijer (R-MI-03), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA-02), Joseph Morelle (D-NY-25), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK-02), Gregory Murphy (R-NC-03), Jay Obernolte (R-CA-08), Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ-01), Steven Palazzo (R-MS-04), Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ-06), Katie Porter (D-CA-45), Jamie Raskin (D-MD-08), Tom Reed (R-NY-23), Bradley Schneider (D-IL-10), David Schweikert (R-AZ-06), Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ-11), Bryan Steil (R-WI-01), W. Gregory Steube (R-FL-17), Thomas Suozzi (D-NY-03), Eric Swalwell (D-CA-15), Dina Titus (D-NV-01), Paul D. Tonko (D-NY-20), David Trone (D-MD-06), Beth Van Duyne (R-TX-24), Daniel Webster (R-FL-11), Bruce Westerman (R-AR-04), and Nikema Williams (D-GA-05).

The full text of the letter can also be found below.

Dear Commissioner Rettig,

We appreciate the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)’s ongoing efforts to eliminate the unprecedented backlog at the IRS. We remain concerned that the IRS does not have a comprehensive plan to remedy the numerous problems affecting taxpayers, despite the fact that this filing season is already well underway. For example, there is continued confusion about which notices may be unilaterally suspended by the IRS, beyond the notices the IRS has already suspended, among other issues.

Given that the IRS has not provided us with any additional information since your last correspondence dated February 8, 2022, we ask for responses to the following questions, no later than the close of business on Monday, March 14, 2022:

  1. Which remaining unsuspended notices does the IRS have the authority to suspend? Please explain why the IRS has left these remaining notices unsuspended.
  1. Is the IRS in the process of working to suspend additional notices? If so, when will that work be completed?
  1. Which notices are statutorily required to be issued within a specific time? Would the IRS suspend these statutory notices if the IRS had the legal authority to do so?
  1. Explain why the IRS has not suspended notice CP2000, Notice of Underreported Income? 
  1. Notwithstanding the publication of Notice 2021-39, widespread controversy surrounding Schedules K-2 and K-3 remains, including recent additional instructions, the inability to electronically file, and lingering uncertainty surrounding many requirements. As such, is the IRS contemplating relief, such as delaying implementation to 2023?
  1. In early February, the IRS advised Congress that it was considering a systemic process to identify pending penalty abatement requests, and likewise evaluating penalty relief options. Has the IRS determined if it can provide penalty relief for taxpayers as previously offered by the IRS for the 2020 and 2021 tax year? If not, why not?

Thank you for your continued attention to this important matter.

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