WASHINGTON — The IRS is still too slow to process amended tax returns, respond to taxpayers’ phone calls and resolve identity theft cases, according to an independent watchdog within the agency.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
While there is “cautious optimism” for an agency that bailed itself out from millions of backlogged tax returns with new federal funding, the report said “the IRS needs to achieve its goals of rebuilding the agency, modernizing its It’s a tall mountain to climb for the system, and to provide the quality service taxpayers deserve.”
Federal tax collectors are facing a tough time in their processing despite a huge increase in funding provided by the Democrats’ Inflation Cut Act, according to the annual report to Congress on Wednesday from Erin M. Collins, who leads the organization charged with protecting taxpayers. And there is a need to improve taxpayer correspondence issues. ‘Rights under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
“The taxpayer experience significantly improved during the 2023 filing season,” the report said. “Despite reforms, some problems persist and some are unavoidable in a large tax system like ours. “Many people stand out.”
The report serves as a reality check as IRS leaders say the funding boost is leading to major improvements in services provided to taxpayers. Meanwhile, GOP critics are trying to claw back some of the money and portray the agency as an over-zealous enforcer of the tax code.
The IRS is experiencing “extraordinary delays” in assisting victims of identity theft, taking nearly 19 months to resolve self-reported cases, which the report calls “unconscionable” because receiving refunds. Delay may increase financial difficulties.
Additionally, the backlog of unprocessed amended returns has increased from 500,000 in 2019 to 1.9 million in October last year. According to the report, taxpayer correspondence cases have more than doubled over the same period, from 1.9 million to 4.3 million.
The report also said that IRS employees answered only 35% of all calls received, while the agency claimed 85%. The IRS does not include calls where the taxpayer hangs up before being placed in the calling queue.
IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel told The Associated Press that the Taxpayer Advocate report “correctly points out that we have a lot of work to do, but it also correctly points out that this is not an overnight journey.”
The report said the difference between the 2022 filing season and the 2023 filing season was “like night and day.”
The IRS is digging itself out of decades of underfunding — by the end of the 2021 filing season, it faced a backlog of more than 35 million tax returns that required manual data entry or employee review.
The report said that while the agency is recruiting thousands of employees from 2022 – new employees need proper training. The 2023 Federal Employee Attitudes Survey shows that a quarter of IRS employees do not think they receive enough training to do their jobs well.
“It is important that the IRS prioritize comprehensive training and ensure that new employees receive adequate training before they are assigned tasks that have a taxpayer impact,” Collins said.
Last April, Werfel outlined IRS plans to use his IRA money for better operations, invest in new technology, hire more customer service representatives and expand the agency’s ability to audit high-wealth taxpayers. Details released.
The federal tax collection agency originally received $80 billion in funding under the Inflation Reduction Act, but that money is vulnerable to potential cuts.
Last year’s agreement between Republicans and the White House on debt ceiling and budget cuts resulted in $1.4 billion being withdrawn from the agency and calls for taking $20 billion from the IRS over the next two years and diverting those funds to other non-defense programs. A separate agreement was reached for.
Collins said in the report that he believes some of the legislation’s funding provided for enforcement should be redirected to improving services to taxpayers “to help the IRS transform the taxpayer experience and improve its operations over the next few years.” To enable us to make the changes necessary to modernize IT systems.”
Werfel said the IRS doesn’t have “broad flexibility” to move money this way.
“I encourage the IRS to place greater emphasis on reducing its paper processing backlog in 2024,” Collins said in his report.
The report comes shortly after the IRS announced that the 2024 filing season will begin on January 29. Agency leaders say there will be better customer service and technology options available to taxpayers and most refunds should be issued in less than 21 days.
Additional funding for the IRS has been politically controversial since 2013 when the agency was found to be investigating political groups that applied for tax-exempt status during the Obama administration. A report by the Treasury Department’s internal watchdog found that both conservative and liberal groups were singled out for close review.
Invalid username / password.
Please check your email to confirm and complete your registration.
Use the form below to reset your password. Once you submit your account email, we’ll send an email with a reset code.
” Of earlier
The Maine lobster industry’s defamation lawsuit is still pending, while a similar case in Massachusetts has been dismissed