With the 112th Congress facing several difficult tax issues in 2012, there may not be enough time or political energy for lawmakers to take up a list of potential legislative fixes set out in the national taxpayer advocate’s annual report release on January 11, 2012, tax observers told Tax Analysts.
While some of TAS’s legislative recommendations have become law in the past, experts say that only a few tax-related items are expected to garner political attention and this may not be the year for a taxpayer bill of rights proposed by some lawmakers. Congress most likely will be focused on extending the payroll tax cut, deciding how to address numerous tax provisions that expired at the end of 2011, providing continued relief from the alternative minimum tax, and dealing with the upcoming expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.
“While there is an interest in taxpayer rights, it will be difficult for Congress to act on that interest without a major tax legislative vehicle, said Dean Zerbe, National Managing Director at alliantgroup and a former Tax Counsel to the Senate Finance Committee.
Zerbe predicted that lawmakers may have a growing interest in addressing the tax issues faced by small and medium-size businesses, but added that some of [National Taxpayer Advocate Nina] Olson’s recommendations, such as allowing the IRS to lift levies on businesses, may be better left to be addressed internally by the IRS instead of awaiting Congress to act. “Why does it have to fall on Congress?” he asked.
To learn more about the timing for taxpayer advocate’s legislative recommendations, click here.