Seven Changes in the New Taxpayer First Act Clients Need to Know

Young man under rain-covered umbrellaOne Congressman says it "levels the playing field."

By Barry J. Friedman, CPA

The Taxpayer First Act of 2019 is redesigning how the IRS works with taxpayers, even though it may take a while for many of the provisions to take effect.

MORE: How Manufacturers Can Use the R&D Tax Credit | Padding Your Tax Deductions? The Consequences Are Serious | Beware the Taxes of Self-Employment | Charitable Giving under TCJA
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

Some experts have highlighted the following aspects of the bill as especially important:

An independent appeals process. Taxpayers and small businesses will be able to challenge the IRS' position without undertaking the cost and expenses of court. IRS Appeals will be an independent unit that grants taxpayers access to case files. Taxpayers will be able to protest if denied an appeal.

Innocent spouse treatment. The new law requires the U.S. Tax Court to take a fresh look at innocent spouse cases without taking previous decisions into account.

Modification of procedures for issuance of third-party summons. This is an important protection for taxpayers, especially small business owners. It discourages the IRS from bypassing the taxpayer and contacting third parties – such as financial institutions – instead for information. The IRS should give taxpayers a meaningful opportunity to provide the information it is seeking prior to its contacting third parties. In practice, the IRS should provide the taxpayer with

  • an understanding of what the issue is,
  • what information is being requested and
  • how the requested information relates to the issue.

Office of the National Taxpayer Advocate. The Taxpayer First Act has taken a strong approach with the Advocate's issuance of Taxpayer Advocate Directives, which focus on systemic problems taxpayers deal with. Once they are issued by the Advocate, the IRS should comply within 90 days. The Advocate Annual Report will identify any TAD that is not honored by the IRS.


Credit card payments. The IRS is now allowed to directly accept credit and debit card payments for taxes; the taxpayer must pay any processing fees. The Act also requires the IRS to try to minimize processing fees when entering into contracts with the credit card companies.

Whistleblower reforms. The Act provides protections from retaliation and allows for better communication with whistleblowers about the status of their claims.

Cybersecurity and identity protection. The IRS will now have to let taxpayers know whether it suspects there is evidence of identity theft. The agency will explain to taxpayers how to file a report with police and how to protect themselves against additional harm resulting from the identity theft.

Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee, says the new law "levels the playing field to ensure taxpayers have the same information as the agency, better protects our taxpayers' information, and reins in past IRS abuses to guarantee families and local businesses never have to fear having their accounts and property seized without fair and due process."

As with many new laws, it will take some time to see what specifically the effects are. The legal provisions are complex and will require interpretation over time. We'll be keeping an eye on the developments.

2 Responses to “Seven Changes in the New Taxpayer First Act Clients Need to Know”

  1. Alice Wright

    Thanks for sharing valuable information for taxpayers in the upcoming tax season with new tax rules.

    Come new tax season, come new regulations. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act delivered alongside a revealing series of changes for fellow Americans. In the previous weblog on 2019 New Tax Rules, we talked about the modifications in tax prices and the annual modifications in short. In this weblog, we can talk approximately the adjustments inside the popular deduction, personal exemptions, and the kid tax price that the IRS has delivered in time for this filing season. Let’s walk you through them one after the other:

    The standard deduction would be higher: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act almost doubled the usual deduction from what they were previously. All American taxpayers can now select among the use of the usual deduction or itemized deductions. What itemizing deductions approach is which you upload up all of the individual tax deductions to that you’re entitled and then you definitely subtract the ones out of your adjusted gross earnings or your AGI.

    Bidding goodbye to private exemptions!: While we witnessed a boon inside the fee of the usual deduction, a now not so fortunate occasion of omission of personal exemption also took place. This exchange becomes backed up by the fact that the lawmakers desired to simplify the tax code, and to do this and impede confusion, the same old deductions had been surged substantially to atone for the truth of getting rid of the non-public exemption.

    A double increase in the child tax credit: It is probably so, that large family with multiple kids possibly discover it mauling, the entire revoking of the private exemption, for quite apparent reasons. Well, to make for that slot of unhappiness, we see that the child tax credit score has been increased, and in conjunction with that more of the credit score is now refundable with the earnings boundaries being a long way less restrictive.

  2. Paul Harrington

    Very informative. Thank you for your efforts.


Leave a Reply