Advice, Preparation . . . Results™

Report Urges Stronger, Faster & More Accurate IRS Service (cont.)

The National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA), Nina Olson, understands the importance of the IRS communicating with taxpayers regarding their individual and business tax returns.

In our previous blog, we began overviewing the NTA’s recent annual report to the tax-writing committees in Congress and its primary areas of focus leading up to next year’s tax season. As you could guess, the report emphasized the IRS’ service.

Continuing on the NTA’s report, Olson expressed concerns about IRS’ “Future State” plan:

  • The IRS’ intent to develop more online accounts may be to reduce telephone and face-to-face assistance—especially in light of recent budget cuts. Many taxpayers may not conduct business online because:
    • They lack Internet access or skills;
    • They no longer trust the IRS system security; or
    • The “Taxes. Security. Together” program enhanced security of the system, but the improved authentication measures may prevent taxpayers from establishing online accounts.

Pre-formatted FAQ’s don’t answer many individual questions and even if these FAQs point the enquirer to the correct tax law, the rules are so complex that they’re difficult to understand.

Other NTA concerns include the IRS’ plan to eliminate “walk-in” service at its Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs) around the country. People may still schedule appointments, but perhaps not at convenient times.

Given that only 375 TACs exist across the 50 states, some people likely must travel quite a distance. Will the IRS and TACs provide any leeway if taxpayers didn’t get word about needing an appointment?

Finally, a little good news: during the 2016 filing season, the IRS apparently answered 73% of its calls. Not great service, maybe, but a marked improvement over the 37% answered calls during the 2015 season. The IRS also claims the wait time was cut in half (to 11 minutes, if you’re comparing it to your wait time).

We all know about the IRS’ problems, so the Taxpayer Advocate always watches out to help improve the situation as much as possible for taxpayers.

If you’re seeking a tax accountant team that also watches out for their clients’ best interest, contact Patrick & Robinson CPAs today to begin preparing for the upcoming filing season: or (904) 396-5400.

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