IRS Tax Attorney Talks Potential Tax Season Postponement
At the beginning of the New Year, it is completely normal and even recommended to start getting ready for the upcoming tax season. And let’s face it – taxes aren’t the easiest of endeavors. There may be confusing questions you have, personal information you aren’t sure of, issues with the IRS you need to get solved quickly, and other obstructions in your path. This is pretty common with a lot of people, and getting in touch with the Internal Revenue Service isn’t that easy to do and get your problems worked out. But since 2010 there has been over 15,000 full-time employees that have been laid off as well as a implementing budget cuts. Due to these changes, there has been quite a difference in the level of motivation at the Internal Revenue Service causing a severe backup in their work.
Service at a low
John Koskinen, the Internal Revenue Service commissioner, stated in a recent speech, “The IRS is now at its lowest level of funding since 2008. But if you adjust for inflation, our budget is now comparable to where we were in 1998.” So now getting in touch with the IRS may be more difficult for taxpayers and IRS tax lawyers due to the lack of pay the workers are receiving. Koskinen said, ”Taxpayers who called the IRS had long wait times on the phones. On bad days, fewer than 40 percent of calls were able to reach a live assistor, and that was after a 30-minute wait or longer. “ Koskinen is not proud of the service that the IRS is giving. He continued, “And taxpayers who needed in–person help at IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers often waited in very long lines just to get in the door.” If you’ve had issues with the IRS and getting in contact with them, there are tax services an IRS Tax Lawyer can provide that help with your tax obligations as well as communicating with the IRS for you. But now, this is becoming exceedingly more difficult for tax practitioners to get on the phone with someone from the IRS.
Professionals run into roadblocks too
While an IRS tax attorney may be of assistance, it still seems to be a bit of a problem sometimes. Koskinen says, “This unacceptable level of service is a problem for practitioners as well, especially as it relates to the Practitioner Priority Line. The waits for practitioners on this line have rivaled those for the regular taxpayer help lines. Of course, this is unacceptable to all of us. Tax practitioners interact with the IRS every day, and you need our assistance and expertise to properly represent your clients and help them fulfill their tax obligations.”
How to deal?
With all of the traffic and congestion that the IRS is dealing with could result in a tax season delay. Koskien voiced his concern, expressing, “If this uncertainty persists into December, we could be forced to postpone the opening of the 2016 filing season. This would delay the start of processing of tax refunds for millions of taxpayers. It’s also important for lawmakers to understand what the effect would be if they made any substantive changes to tax provisions that are extended, or decided to approve any new tax provisions. We would need to reprogram our systems and make processing changes that would result in delays. So I will continue to urge members of Congress not to let this uncertainty drag on. We believe it is critical for Congress to make a decision one way or another on the extenders legislation no later than the end of November in order to ensure there are no disruptions to the upcoming filing season.”
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