IRS Strategic Plan for Fiscal Year 2022-2026
The IRS recently released a new strategic, 5-year plan emphasizing the improvement of taxpayer services and tax administration. The strategic plan brings the focus back to taxpayers, split into four specific areas:
- Service: Provide quality and accessible services to enhance the taxpayer experience
- Enforcement: Enforce the tax law fairly and efficiently to increase voluntary compliance and narrow the tax gap
- People: Foster an inclusive, diverse, and well-equipped workforce and strengthen relationships with our external partners
- Transformation: Transform IRS operations to become more resilient, agile, and responsive to improve the taxpayer experience and narrow the tax gap
Specifically for the Enforcement strategy, the IRS reported that they would spend 72% of criminal investigation time on refund fraud, identity theft, employment tax, abusive tax schemes, general tax fraud, international tax, cyber crimes, public corruption, and corporate fraud.
Find more information on the IRS website to learn more about IRS Strategic Plan (Fiscal Year 2022-2026).
IRS Encourages Taxpayers to Begin Filing Their Tax Returns Before October 15th Extension Deadline
To help expedite tax return processing for taxpayers who filed extensions for the 2021 tax year, the IRS recommends that taxpayers begin working on their tax returns.
Taxpayers should file electronically to avoid further delays in mailed return processing. Per the National Taxpayer Advocate’s midyear report to Congress in June 2022, the IRS has a backlog of 20 million tax returns for 2021 and 21.3 million tax returns for 2022. The figure includes the original and amended tax returns mailed in.
The Security Summit Warns of Increased Risk for Email-phishing and Cloud-based Data Storage
The Security Summit is a task force consisting of the IRS, State tax agencies, and the tax community, including tax preparation firms, software developers, payroll and financial product processors, tax professional organizations. and financial institutions.
There has been an increase in identity theft phishing emails posing as potential clients sent to tax practitioners. A phishing email happens when someone opens the link or attachment contained in the email. Once the link or attachment is opened, the information stored in that computer systems immediately become vulnerable to malware. The warning is especially geared toward tax practitioners whose computer system keeps sensitive taxpayer data that could be used for identity theft.
A cloud-based data storage system can also become vulnerable if insufficient security measures exist. The Security Summit recommends using multi-factor authentication, updated anti-virus software, drive encryption, and regularly backing up files to prevent ransomware attacks.
The IRS urges tax practitioners to read Publication 4557 Safeguarding Taxpayer Data to learn how to protect taxpayers’ information.