Alliant Group invited key CPA firm partners to join the discussion with Mark Everson, Alliant Group Vice Chairman and former IRS Commissioner, and executives with the IRS Large Business and International Group, or LB&I. The LB&I focuses their resources on entities with assets greater than $10 million. The LB&I division serves companies that deal with complicated issues involving accounting principles and tax law while conducting their operations in the ever-expanding global environment. Alliant Group works with many companies that might undergo an IRS audit in the coming months.
IRS Adopts a New Emphasis
After years of conducting extensive audits on the largest corporations, the IRS has focused its recent efforts on the mid-market to increase tax revenue for the federal government. Many of the challenges faced by mid-size companies are avoided by the large corporations that can afford the most experienced tax consultants. Alliant Group works with many companies that are challenged by audits to verify their tax compliance. Attendees at the meeting appreciated the invitation from Alliant Group because of the insight gained directly from the IRS.
LB&I Shares New Goals
As the discussion continued, the IRS executives shared their challenges with Alliant Group and the CPA firm partners. Budget cuts have reduced the number of personnel that conduct examinations, but the goal is to maintain a cycle time of 6-12 months for the mid-market business audits. Alliant Group was interested in this fact because of the many companies that need guidance through the audit process.
Throughout the discussion, the IRS officials reemphasized the importance of consistency, communication, transparency, and accountability for businesses and the tax authority. Alliant Group encourages clients to work with the IRS throughout the audit to set well-defined expectations. Every mid-market business must be educated in their role and the accompanying responsibilities throughout the examination process. Alliant Group emphasized the reality that many mid-market businesses are not always prepared for the audit.
Alliant Group Managing Director, Jeremy Fingeret, J.D. stated the importance of the taxpayers’ knowledge of their roles and rights throughout the examination process. Everyone acknowledged that tax filing procedures are more complex every year, which is one of the reasons the IRS is shifting the focus to the middle market. Alliant Group will continue to educate decision makers that will participate in the audit process to ensure they are prepared.