The Taxpayer Roadmap from the TAS (What You Should Know)

The Taxpayer Roadmap from the TAS (What You Should Know)

The Taxpayer Roadmap 

US tax law is very complicated. Moreover, the Internal Revenue Service’s processes and procedures for issuing deficiency notices, penalty assessments, and other tax headaches do not necessarily follow a linear path — and oftentimes, the publications just make it more confusing for taxpayers. On the one hand, when a person is issued a notice of tax amount due, it will ‘generally’ follow a clear path from proposal to deficiency and assessment. Conversely, when it comes to international tax law, tax pairs do not go through the same deficiency process. This may result in the taxpayer receiving a CP-15 assessment notice before ever having the opportunity to dispute the penalty with the IRS. In order to try to assist taxpayers, the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) developed a roadmap. The roadmap itself is very complicated, but it can help taxpayers understand a bit better how the IRS is moving forward against the taxpayer for the tax or penalty being issued.

The Taxpayer Roadmap

The TAS offers a PDF of the roadmap, as well as the opportunity to submit information about a specific form you may have received which will then show you the path the IRS can take in order to facilitate your compliance.

What Type of IRS Notice Did you Receive?

In order to begin the process, taxpayers can type in the specific notice they received from the Internal Revenue Service. Once the taxpayer types in the specific notice they received, it will ping the map below the entry point which will then allow taxpayers to see specifically where they fall on the grid. Not all notices take the same path, so it is important to get an understanding of which path you were on — and at what point in the IRS enforcement process you are.

Take a Deep Breath

Depending on how your brain is wired, looking at the taxpayer roadmap may not be conducive to helping you find a path to your tax resolution. You should consider taking baby steps. At first glance, if the map is too overwhelming — that is totally understandable since it is overwhelming for many attorneys as well. Instead, break down each form into bite-size pieces by only focusing on each step individually, researching the phrases used by the IRS for your specific issue, and then staying focused on that specific path that you were on and not worrying about all the other or names within the graph.

Current Year vs Prior Year Non-Compliance

Once a taxpayer missed the tax and reporting (such as FBAR and FATCA) requirements for prior years, they will want to be careful before submitting their information to the IRS in the current year. That is because they may risk making a quiet disclosure if they just begin filing forward in the current year and/or mass filing previous year forms without doing so under one of the approved IRS offshore submission procedures. Before filing prior untimely foreign reporting forms, taxpayers should consider speaking with a Board-Certified Tax Law Specialist that specializes exclusively in these types of offshore disclosure matters.

Avoid False Offshore Disclosure Submissions (Willful vs Non-Willful)

In recent years, the IRS has increased the level of scrutiny for certain streamlined procedure submissions. When a person is non-willful, they have an excellent chance of making a successful submission to streamlined procedures. If they are willful, they would submit to the IRS Voluntary Disclosure Program instead of the Streamlined Procedures. But, if a willful Taxpayer submits an intentionally false narrative under the streamlined procedures (and gets caught), they may become subject to significant fines and penalties

Golding & Golding: About Our International Tax Law Firm

Golding & Golding specializes exclusively in international tax, specifically IRS offshore disclosure

Contact our firm today for assistance.