According to a recent article in Forbes entitled, “As IRS Tax Filing Season Begins, Bad News for Honest Taxpayers,” Forbes Staff Writer Janet Novak discusses the upcoming IRS tax filing season, which she believes will be a difficult filing season for taxpayers looking to file quickly and honestly with the IRS.
The statistics she cites provide an unflattering picture of the customer service at the IRS. Just a little more than half of all callers who attempted to speak to a human at the IRS were able to reach one. The average wait for these individuals was 17 minutes. As many are aware, identity fraud is another issue that the IRS has failed to address with any real containment effort. Taxpayers and tax attorneys alike who are hoping for major changes to come to the tax code are finding that their hope is waning. Last Friday, a federal judge issued a permanent injunction to block an IRS plan to regulate and enforce basic competency and continuing education requirements for paid tax preparers who are currently subject to regulation. The IRS has asked that the injunction be suspended as it appeals the decision.
The IRS National Taxpayer advocate Nina Olsen has gone on record with Forbes saying that if such an injunction stands, taxpayers will be grievously harmed. In light of all the issues surrounding return preparer fraud and return preparer negligence, it seems to Ms. Olsen that the practical effect of not having any sort of regulation in regards to prepare will inevitably perpetuate the already increasing issues.
Ms. Olsen did not paint a cheery picture of the future of the IRS. According to her, current trends will lead to greater problems for taxpayers in the years to come. When taxpayers do not have access to assistance from the IRS, they will sometimes turn to unscrupulous preparers out of desperation.
In the enforcement cycle that Ms. Olsen contends is causing problems as it currently stands, taxpayers are receiving notices generated by computers that demand more money or documentation. When the taxpayers attempt to question the demands or even comply, they are failing to reach the IRS at an astounding rate.
If there was any hope that things were improving, Ms. Olsen reminds taxpayers that this is not the case. The IRS gets further behind on its correspondence every day. According to the report issued by the Taxpayer Advocate Office in September, the IRS has more than one million pieces of unanswered mail.
This, the article claims, is not due to incompetence or laziness on the part of IRS employees. It is the result of an increasing demand from a decreasing body of employees.
With a tax code that continues to get more complicated, a large number of unscrupulous tax preparers and an IRS that is becoming more and more unreachable, the necessity for knowledgeable and experienced tax attorneys is becoming increasingly apparent. Contact Segal, Cohen & Landis to ensure that your tax problems are handled quickly and efficiently with the IRS.Segal, Cohen & Landis 9100 Wilshire Blvd. Ste. 601E Beverly Hills, CA 90212 (310) 285-3999