The Tax Times

“Third, the combined effect of these trends is reshaping U.S. The report also urges Congress to enact extensive tax reform, pointing out that simplification would relieve burdens on taxpayers and the IRS alike. The report represents the decline in taxpayer service in detail and features the decline to a combination of more work and reduced resources for the IRS.

Scope of Taxpayer Service Needs. Nearly 200 million Americans interact with the IRS each year, more than 3 x as many as any other federal government agency. Because of the complexity of the tax code, large numbers of taxpayers consider the IRS for assistance. The IRS typically gets more than 100 million calls, 10 million words, and 5 million visits at its walk-in sites from taxpayers each year. Decline in Taxpayer Service Levels. IRS taxpayer service reached its high-water mark in fiscal season (FY) 2004. In that period, the IRS replied 87% of phone calls from taxpayers seeking to consult with an assistor, and keep times averaged 2.five minutes.

Taxpayers who have the ability to get through are anticipated to hold back on keep for half an hour normally and a lot longer at peak times. The IRS will answer much fewer tax-law questions than in past years. Through the upcoming filing season, you won’t answer any tax-law questions except “basic” ones.

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After the processing season, you won’t answer any tax-law questions whatsoever, leaving the roughly 15 million taxpayers who document later in the entire year unable to get answers to their questions by phoning or visiting IRS offices. Tax return planning assistance has been eliminated. More Work, Reduced Resources. On the workload aspect, the IRS is getting 11% more results from individuals, 18% more earnings from business entities, and 70% more calls (through FY 2013) when compared to a decade back.

During the upcoming filing season, execution of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act are both likely to add considerable new work. “Like any agency, the IRS can operate more and efficiently in certain areas effectively,” Olson had written. “However, we do not see any substitute for sufficient staff if high-quality taxpayer service is to be provided. The only way the IRS can help the tens of an incredible number of taxpayers wanting to consult with an IRS worker is to have enough employees to answer their phone calls.

The only way the IRS can timely process an incredible number of taxpayer letters is to have sufficient employees to read the letters and act to them. Olson urged Congress and the IRS to work to ensure that taxpayer needs are fulfilled together. “We do not believe that it is acceptable for the federal government to tell an incredible number of taxpayers who seek help every year, in essence, sorry ‘We’re. You’re by yourself,’” the report says.