From Bloomberg: IRS Will Shut Last Overseas Taxpayer-Assistance Center.
They report that IRS offices in Beijing have already been closed down and the Paris, London and Frankfurt offices will be closed soon. These offices were located at the US Embassies in those cities. All the staff will be sent back to the US and all international taxpayer assistance will now be done from the US.
Great timing. As more and more US Persons abroad are being FATCAed, they are desperately in need of reasonably priced assistance and reliable information. Now as they try to make sense of US tax rules and reporting requirements that they never heard of and don't understand, they have fewer resources to make good decisions and get compliant.
That just doesn't make any sense, folks. Before there was a Compliance Gap, there was a Communication Gap. Keeping those IRS offices open and giving the staff the autonomy and resources to craft information campaigns to reach US Persons abroad would have been a damn good idea. This would have sent an important signal to America's population overseas - yes, you have to file but we are here to help.
Before I get too worked up about this, I would like confirmation that these closures will indeed take place. I checked and could not find an official IRS statement about it.
If the Bloomberg article is indeed correct then I would very much like to know what the IRS' Plan B is. Assuming that they won't simply give up providing taxpayer assistance to US Persons abroad, how might they deliver those services from the US? Is there any possibility that Americans abroad organizations and even citizens abroad panels could participate in the design of service delivery solutions?
All good questions to ask the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service and you can do so right here.