WASHINGTON – Internal Revenue Service officials announced today changes to the Compliance Assurance Process (CAP) program for 2019. CAP is a cooperative pre-filing program for some of the largest taxpayers. To give affected taxpayers more time to assess the proposed changes, the IRS will shift the start of the application period to Oct. 1, 2018 and it will close on November 30, 2018.
The CAP program began in 2005 as a way for resolving tax issues through open, cooperative and transparent interactions between the IRS and taxpayers before the filing of a return. The program began with 17 taxpayers and currently has 169 taxpayer participants.
“After extensive review, we believe this program continues to provide benefit for taxpayers and tax administration,” said Large Business and International (LB&I) Commissioner Doug O’Donnell. “The program is intended to provide taxpayers and IRS certainty on the treatment of certain tax issues even before the return is filed, while reducing the chance of potential disagreement and lengthy examinations.”
The proposed changes are designed to improve operation of the program, make the best use of limited government resources and to ensure the sustainability of the program. Changes will be effective for the upcoming 2019 application period, with additional changes expected the following year and into the future. While interest in CAP has grown, since the inception of the program, the IRS workforce in the LB&I division has declined more than 25 percent.
Changes for the 2019 Application Season: The changes and reinforcement of existing policies are intended to ensure that engagement by taxpayers and the IRS are consistent with the original objectives of the program.
Changes Anticipated for Future Years: Additional changes are anticipated for the following CAP cycle and into the future.
Ongoing engagement: Stakeholder input — from both employees and taxpayers — is essential as the CAP program moves forward. In the coming months and years, LB&I officials will continue discussions, monitor the operation of all changes and remain open to improvements.