IRS Commissioner Discusses Changes to IRS

IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig addressed a group of more than 1,300 tax professionals from around the country on July 23 at the 2019 National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP) National Conference in Chicago.



Commissioner Rettig discussed his observations from the first tax season since implementing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, shared information about the new Form W-4 and asked for patience as changes are implemented in the coming months and years. He also said he plans to place an increased importance on serving traditionally underserved communities including the elderly, low-income households and those who speak English as a second language.

"We need to make the interactions with the Internal Revenue Service better," Rettig said. We need to be diverse, we need to respect the fact that we're diverse and value the differences we each bring to the table, and we need to be reflective of the people we're serving on the outside."

Commissioner Rettig also provided an update on some of the issues the IRS is facing as it works toward major modernization; with changes including an increase in cloud-based information storage and a customer callback feature.

"Each interaction you have with us represents an opportunity for us to show you who we are as people and for you to show us who you are as a person and a practitioner," Rettig said. "It goes both ways. These interactions are an opportunity."

The IRS processed 15 million returns on April 15, all without error, Commissioner Rettig said, emphasizing the fact that many IRS employees work diligently to serve as many tax professionals and taxpayers as possible. In addition to the high volume of work, Commissioner Rettig said there were 1.4 billion attacks on IRS systems in 2018, by nation states that have a very strong desire to breach our system. He affirmed the IRS' on-going commitment to cybersecurity.

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