News & Advocacy Alerts: Tax Alerts – Federal

Changes Affect IRS Practitioner Priority Services and e-Services

Thursday, January 30, 2014   (0 Comments)

We have been informed of changes affecting the Practitioner Priority Services and e-Services available to you for dealing with client matters. Please note this information below.

We also urge you to keep aware of the latest updates to practitioner matters on the IRS website.

2014 Changes to Practitioner Priority Services
Effective January 6, 2014, the IRS will limit Practitioner Priority Service (PPS) to responding only to requests from tax professionals who are actively working with their clients to resolve tax account issues. Allowable tax professionals include Circular 230 Representatives, Registered/Unenrolled Return Preparers with Forms 2848 or 8821, or Reporting Agents with a Form 8655.

The IRS will no longer be able to respond to account information requests from tax practitioners or other third parties for non-tax matters, such as transcript requests for monitoring client financial history, made via live telephone applications. If you have used Practitioner Priority Services for this non-tax account related service in the past, here are the alternatives for obtaining that information.
  1. Submit paper Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return. Expected processing time frame is 10 days from receipt. There is no charge associated with this service.
  2. Register with e-services to enroll in the Income Verification Express Services (IVES). IVES provides expedited service for bulk requests. There is a $2 fee for each transcript requested. IVES is a program that allows third and fourth party assistors to request transcripts and receive them electronically within two business days from receipt. More information is available at the Income Verification Express Service.
  3. Eligible tax professionals may use Transcript Delivery System (TDS) to request and receive account transcripts, wage and income documents, tax return transcripts, and verification of non-filing letters. Tax Professionals can request the products for both individual and business taxpayers and must have a Power of Attorney authorization on file with the IRS before accessing a client's account. More information is available at the Online Tools for Tax Professionals page.

Issues outside the scope of the PPS employees' authority are transferred or referred to the appropriate IRS functions such as:

  • Tax law questions
  • Accounts assigned to Automated Collection Services (ACS) or Automated Under Reporter (AUR)
  • Accounts assigned to a Revenue Officer or Revenue Agent

If the PPS assistor cannot transfer the call, the assistor will provide the caller with the appropriate contact telephone number.

e-Services and Form 2848 Processing
Please remember changes have been made to IRS e-Services and you no longer have the ability to enter a Power of Attorney online with e-Services. Completed Form 2848s for Louisiana residents should be mailed to:
Memphis IRS Service Center (MAMC)
PO Box 268, Stop 8423
Memphis, TN 38118
(or fax to 855.214.7519)
IRS also announced that it would try to process all authorizations within 10 business days. Later, the IRS announced that it would process all authorizations within five business days in IRM Procedural Update #WI-21-1113-1609 dated November 4, 2013.

Here are some ideas for you to use to mitigate the loss of the e-Services DA tool:
  • Fax your authorization form to the applicable CAF unit. Faxing is always faster than mailing and your authorization will be recorded quicker if you file the form at the right location. Keep in mind if you must contact the IRS about an urgent matter, call the Practitioner Priority Service line at 866.860.4259 and fax your authorization form to the agent who takes your call. Various studies have shown that calling early in the morning often reduces call-wait times.
  • Don’t forget about the e-Services Transcript Delivery System (TDS). Once you have power of attorney authorization (Form 2848), you may still utilize TDS to request and receive transcripts electronically – a much quicker process than calling the IRS and waiting for transcripts to be faxed or mailed to you.
  • Consider proactively filing Form 8821 for all of your clients this tax season. Though Form 8821 doesn’t allow you to represent your client (like Form 2848), it does allow you to request and receive client account-related information, such as payment or tax return information. It also allows you to be copied on all IRS correspondence. Plus, if you include your firm’s name as the appointee, anyone if your office can call the IRS and receive client account-related information, allowing you to leverage less experienced, and even non-licensed staff members.

Attribution and thanks are extended to Gerard H. Schreiber, Jr., CPA, who contributed content for this alert.