Jim Buttonow, CPA, CITP
SVP Post-Filing Tax Services
Published on: September 09, 2021
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With limited IRS resources, some days it is almost impossible for the average taxpayer to contact the IRS. Interrupted IRS operations and backlogs of IRS correspondence only add to the inability to get ahold of the IRS.
On top of the backlog and demand for IRS services, taxpayers have limited options to quickly and easily interact with the IRS about their taxes:
IRS statistics show that 70 million taxpayers interact with the IRS outside of filing a tax return. With limited IRS online service capabilities, what can taxpayers do when the IRS is difficult to reach and difficult to understand?
The best bet may be to turn to a Tax Pro. Why? Two reasons. First, an experienced Tax Pro can ask the right questions of the IRS and is able to interpret transcripts and other IRS information correctly. The second reason (and probably most important in today’s environment) is that Tax Pros have a hotline directly into the IRS called the Practitioner Priority Service hotline or “PPS.”
The tax pro can have access to the IRS on Monday-Friday, from 7:00AM to 7:00PM. PPS can answer account related questions quickly. PPS provides the Tax Pro access to information and transcripts for both individuals and businesses. PPS also provides a channel to speak directly to the IRS’s Automated Collection System employees, the CP2000 Automated Underreporter Unit, and tax examiners at the correspondence (mail) audit function.
PPS can also provide the tax pro information about a taxpayer’s refund – and the circumstances why a refund has not been issued or delayed. PPS representatives are used to dealing with Tax Pros and streamlining certain needs such as requests for penalty abatement or payment plans.
PPS can determine and route the Tax Pro to the proper unit if they cannot directly help.
Taxes are difficult enough already. Rules, procedures, and options when dealing with an IRS notice or issue are usually difficult to understand and interpret. The best bet? Get a Tax Pro involved and have them get to the bottom of the issue. Taxpayers may save a lot of time, frustration.
For assistance creating a strategy to address your tax issue, visit Jackson Hewitt’s Tax Resolution Hub to see the various ways we can help you.
About the Author
Jim Buttonow, CPA, CITP, is the Senior Vice President for Post-Filing Tax Services at Jackson Hewitt. He’s been a leader in helping taxpayers and tax professionals resolve tax problems with the IRS, where he had worked for 19 years in various compliance-enforcement positions. Prior to his current role, Jim’s consulting practice focused on the areas of tax controversy and tax administration, which included leading product development on tax problem software for tax professionals, testifying before Congress, advocating for IRS transparency and efficiency, and proposing innovative large-scale solutions for taxpayers and tax professionals. Jim is also the author of Tax Problems and Solutions Handbook, a publication aimed at helping tax pros work more effectively in post-filing matters and resolving their clients’ most common tax problems.
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