The IRS Allowable Living Expense standards do not provide for a minimal retirement savings allowance in computing a taxpayer’s ability to pay. However, retirement savings are in actuality necessary for maintaining the health and welfare of today’s families. The IRS position is that “discretionary retirement savings” are not a necessary current living expenses while the taxpayer is repaying past due taxes. Instead, the IRS views such a provision as an amount which can be paid to them. Of course, for example, if you work for a State or a City which “requires” retirement savings, then such is “allowable”. This IRS “double speak” is absurd.
The Taxpayer Advocate in its Fiscal Year 2018 Objectives Report to Congress has clearly stated that the current Allowable Living standards are not based upon “an amount of money that allows for a basic standard of living”. Contrary to the IRS position, providing for retirement is necessary for a family’s health and welfare. The Taxpayer Advocate has advised in its Objectives Report that it will be issuing a Taxpayer Advocacy Directive ordering the IRS to expand the categories available in the Allowable Living Expenses. Hopefully, this will include minimal retirement savings.