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The Innocent Spouse Program Needs Improved Guidance for Employees and Increased Communication With Taxpayers

Report Information

Date Issued
Report Number
2024-300-001
Report Type
Audit
Joint Report
No
Agency Wide
Yes (agency-wide)
Questioned Costs
$0
Funds for Better Use
$0

Recommendations

Provide supplemental training on an annual basis to clarify how the innocent spouse determination factors should be used in making consistent final determinations, including additional examples of case scenarios and domestic violence-related scenarios.

Require a secondary review of a sample of CCISO determinations, including the final determination letters, to ensure that all factors have been developed appropriately and consistently for all provisions of I.R.C. § 6015.

Update the IRM to ensure that the language in the final determination letters includes notifying the taxpayer of qualifications and determinations under all provisions of I.R.C § 6015.

The Commissioner, SB/SE Division, should monitor the cycle time for the innocent spouse process after the FY 2023 hiring initiative and, if the cycle time does not improve, analyze the causes of the increased cycle time in the innocent spouse process and initiate action to reduce cycle times.

Resume mirroring all innocent spouse tax accounts in the CCISO, regardless of the claim’s determination and, if feasible, correct the prior non-mirrored accounts.