updated 2:28 PM CEST, May 24, 2023

National Taxpayer Advocate Collins to address 'challenges facing taxpayers' in House of Reps hearing

Erin Collins, left, to address Oversight Subcommittee hearing Erin Collins, left, to address Oversight Subcommittee hearing

Fresh from delivering the National Taxpayer Advocate's annual doorstopper of a report to Congress, NTA Erin M. Collins will address some of the issues currently challenging U.S. taxpayers in a House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee hearing next Tuesday.

The hearing is set to begin at 2pm Eastern Standard Time (7pm GMT, 8pm CET), and may be viewed online by clicking here, and following the instructions.

It wasn't possible to determine in advance of the hearing whether issues of concern to expatriate American taxpayers were scheduled to be discussed. The National Taxpayer Advocate's office didn't reply to a request for clarification on this point. 

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-N.J., who chairs the Oversight Subcommittee, has been an outspoken campaigner on behalf of "tax fairness" and against loopholes that enable wealthy Americans to avoid their tax obligations, including those that have seen certain U.S. states, such as Wyoming, allegedly become tax havens. 

Report to Congress

As reported last month, Collins called on the IRS to eliminate "duplication" of the FBAR and FATCA reporting requirements, as well as to abolish the requirement for the financial accounts of U.S. persons in countries where they are bona fide residents to be included in these two tax evasion-prevention regimes, in what was her second annual report to Congress since having been appointed National Taxpayer Advocate in March, 2020.

Collins stressed that the way FBAR violations are defined, and the penalties for failure to comply properly, needed to be addressed, and, in her annual so-called "Purple Book" of 68 legislative recommendations, noted that "many U.S. taxpayers, particularly those living abroad, face increased compliance burdens and costs because the FATCA reporting obligations significantly overlap with the FBAR filing requirements."

In a blog released alongside her Annual Report to Congress and Purple Book, Collins noted that that the 2021 tax season saw the IRS deliver "the worst" service to U.S. taxpayers ever, as "the combination of processing delays and questions about new programs, such as the AdvCTC [Advance Child Tax Credit]  payments, caused IRS telephone call volumes to almost triple to 282 million calls," of which IRS customer service representatives answered "just 11%."

Taxpayers keen to share their thoughts as to how the IRS could do a better job are able to do so by visiting this link on the National Taxpayer Advocate's website, which directs them to www.improveirs.org/submit-a-suggestion/, where such ideas are collected.