The Large Business and International (LB&I) divison of the IRS recently released its 2019 Strategic Goals. The LB&I division serves corporations, subchapter S corporations, and partnerships with assets greater than $10 million. LB&I outlined the main goals as improved compliance activities, workforce hiring and training, implementation of major program priorities and improved internal and external communications.
With regards to compliance activities, LB&I has previsouly announced that it will be moving towards issue-based examinations and on Jan. 31, 2017, it announced its first 13 campaign issues. Compliance campaigns identify areas of non-compliance and are currently the main source of LB&I’s work. The number of compliance issues that LB&I has identified as presenting compliance risk rose to 50 by the end of 2019. In its 2019 strategic goals LB&I stated that it will continue working on developing more effective campaigns and identifying treatment streams for such campaigns.
A major change is implementation of LB&I’s new Large Corporate Compliance program to replace the Coordinated Industry Case program. Using data analytics to review LB&I’s filing population, returns will be classified as high, medium and low risk to improve the selection of compliance work.
An LB&I priority in 2019 will be implementation of 59 of the Tax Cut’s and Jobs Act’s 119 provisions, including international provisions. In addition, LB&I’s goal is to ensure successful implementation of Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, recalibrate Compliance Assurance Process (pre-filing program for some of the largest taxpayers), and equip its workforce to accomplish these goals.
Workforce hiring and training goal was identified as a strategic goal for 2019. Although its responsibilities have increased, LB&I has experienced decrease in its workforce. In October 2018 LB&I employed 4,524 employees, down from 4,868 employees in October 2017. The notable goals include: improving selection of, and employee allocation on, compliance work, use of portfolio management tools, identifying and addressing training gaps, and improving LB&I operations by increasing collaboration and support between practice areas.
The effective implementation of the strategic goals will be necessary for LB&I to effectively deal with areas of compliance risk. With a decreased workforce, LB&I will use data to drive compliance issues to achieve LB&I’s compliance goals.