The Purple Book

The Purple Book is provided as part of the Taxpayer Advocate Service's annual report to Congress by the National Taxpayer Advocate. The book includes a list of legislative ideas for improving taxpayer services in the United States. The color purple emphasizes the recommendations' bipartisan character, since red and blue combine to become purple.

How Purple Book Works

The National Taxpayer Advocate is obligated by law to provide Congress with an annual review of concerns affecting taxpayers and the most important areas in need of legislative reforms. The top ten legislative initiatives must be listed in the report's executive summary. \

Additionally, annual reports generally contain:

  1. Successes of the Taxpayer Advocate Service
  2. A summary of the previous filing season A report on the most litigated issues
  3. Investigation and related studies
  4. The Violet Book

Since 2017, the National Taxpayer Advocate has provided Congress with a Purple Book as part of the annual report. Each book is a collection of "noncontroversial, common-sense reforms" that are usually supported by both parties. According to the Taxpayer Advocate's Office, 50 of the ideas have become legislation. The Taxpayer First Act of 2019 contains more than 20 of these ideas.

The list of recommendations is organized into categories and presented in a user-friendly manner. The Purple Book comprises a review of current law, the reasons for the suggested changes, and a legislative proposal for each recommendation.Each recommendation presented in the book is referenced in the appendix. This covers laws that are consistent with proposals passed by the whole House or Senate.

Special Considerations

The Purple Book's legislative recommendations are aimed at increasing taxpayer rights and improving tax administration. The most current edition, the 2022 Purple Book, published on January 12, 2022, retains earlier proposals to raise the IRS budget. Inadequate funding is a persistent problem that has exacerbated concerns for taxpayers.

One of the most serious issues confronting the IRS is a shortage of resources to address the requirements of taxpayers. According to data from last year's annual report to Congress, IRS funding has dropped by 20% in the last decade.

Many of the most critical challenges are caused by a lack of money, which includes:

  • An IRS workforce that is aging and inexperienced
  • Inadequate customer service from the IRS
  • Technology that is no longer in use
  • Online taxpayer accounts have limited usefulness.

The Purple Book for 2022 provides a suggestion to restructure the IRS budget structure in order to provide adequate money to improve the taxpayer experience. The extra money would also be utilized to develop and modernize technological services.

Key Takeaways

The Purple Book includes legislative proposals to improve taxpayer services. The Purple Book is presented to Congress as part of the National Taxpayer Advocate's annual report. Currently, the Internal Revenue Service lacks sufficient money to meet the needs of taxpayers.

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