Hello, I'm Portia Bingham and I'm talking with Stephanie Harrison-Colbert about SBREFA.
Stephanie, what is SBREFA?
SBREFA -- S B R E F A -- stands for the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act.
The advocacy portion of this law ensures that federal regulatory agencies consider the effect of their regulations on small businesses.
All federal agencies, including the IRS, must comply with SBREFA.
Since several agencies issue regulations, who oversees the program?
The Small Business Administration, SBA, administers SBREFA and serves as a liaison between small business owners and federal agencies.
SBA's Office of the National Ombudsman rates federal agencies on elements such as adequacy, thoroughness and time in responding to small business concerns, and issues a report to Congress.
The ombudsman also provides an avenue for small businesses to file complaints or comments, and holds public hearings at ten regional fairness boards across the nation.
Under what circumstances might a small business file a complaint under SBREFA with the SBA?
If you believe you have experienced unfair actions, you may file a complaint.
Examples might include repetitive audits or investigations, or excessive or unfair fines or penalties.
Bear in mind that the ombudsman provides an avenue for your complaint, can elevate your issue and report on it.
But the ombudsman's office cannot change, stop or delay enforcement action.
How do you file a SBREFA complaint?
You can start at the IRS Web site -- IRS.gov/smallbiz, with a "z," then select "Partners and Stakeholders" from the menu on the left to find SBREFA information.
Or, go directly to the SBA Web site at SBA.gov, keyword "ombudsman."
As an alternative to filing a compliant with the ombudsman, does the IRS have any avenues for small businesses to get the kind of help SBREFA offers?
Definitely. If you're just looking for information, IRS.gov is an excellent resource.
If you need to speak with someone, call our business and specialty hotline at 1-800-829-4433.
However, if you are responding to a notice or have been working directly with an IRS employee through normal channels, use the number provided.
If you are seeking help with a tax problem you HAVEN'T been able to resolve through normal channels, you're experiencing economic harm, or believe an IRS system or procedure is not working as it should, you may contact the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service.
There's an option right on the IRS.gov home page that leads to taxpayer advocate information.
Thank you, Stephanie.
I've been talking with Stephanie Harrison-Colbert of the IRS.
This is Portia Bingham.
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