In conjunction with its annual report to Congress, the National Taxpayer Advocate released a new document – the “Purple Book” – containing 50 legislative recommendations to improve taxpayer rights and tax administration. The Purple Book, modeled after the Treasury Department’s “Green Book” of revenue proposals, is intended to help steer Congress as it considers IRS reform legislation in 2018.

Key suggestions from the purple book include the following:

  • Codify both the Taxpayer Bill of Rights and the IRS mission statement as Section 1 of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Provide an annual report from the IRS to taxpayers with a receipt of how their tax dollars are being spent.
  • Authorize the income tax assistance grant program.
  • Establish minimum competency standards for federal income tax return preparers.
  • Extend the time limit for taxpayers to sue for damages for improper collection actions.
  • Require at least one appeals officer and one settlement officer to be located permanently in each state, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
  • Limit re-disclosures and unauthorized uses of tax returns and tax return information.

The Purple Book also examines a range of other tax administration issues, including the IRS’s private debt collection program, its implementation of a recent law that would revoke or deny passports of taxpayers with delinquent tax obligations, and its move towards online services.