IRS Fails to Follow the Rules

According the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, IRS employees have not always followed the rules when it came to directly contacting taxpayers (instead of their representatives like CPAs, enrolled agents and attorneys).

Tax code provides taxpayers the right to representation during interviews and protect taxpayers’ rights by prohibiting IRS contact of a taxpayer if it knows they are represented. However, TIGTA’s effort to determine whether the IRS was complying with the law was complicated by the fact that the IRS doesn’t have a system to identify IRS employee violations of the law.

Tax professionals have been complaining for years about IRS employees contacting clients directly who had a valid Power of Attorney on file and the report seems to confirm that the IRS does not always comply with this requirement.

If you are a client that is represented by a CPA, enrolled agent, or attorney and find yourself being contacted by the IRS you should not respond to them other than to let them know you are represented and that there is a power of attorney on file for your representative. It might also be a good idea to have a copy of the Power of Attorney on file available to give to the IRS employee.

Remember you have a right to having contact go through your representative. If you are represented it’s best not to answer any questions or provide any information without having your representative present.