IRS's Secret 'Future State' Plan to Never Talk to Taxpayers

IRS's Secret 'Future State' Plan to Never Talk to Taxpayers

IRS's Secret 'Future State' Plan to Never Talk to Taxpayers

In her annual report to Congress, National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson stated that the IRS has a secret "future state" plan to have less communication with taxpayers in lieu of using autonomous online accounts for individuals and businesses. 

“Based on our internal discussions with IRS officials, [we have] been left with the distinct impression that the IRS’s ultimate goal is ‘to get out of the business of talking with taxpayers,'” Olson wrote, as reported by The Washington Post.

“The widespread expectation is that traditional taxpayer services – telephone assistance and face-to-face assistance — will be scaled back dramatically," the IRS watchdog continued.

One potential problem with this move is how it could create what Olson calls a "pay to play" system that would inherently cater to those who can afford better services. But the worst part of it, according to the report, is the secretive nature of the change.

The Post states:

The report cites the agency’s “future state” plan to use online accounts for the 150 million individual taxpayers and 11 million businesses seeking help and information as its number one “most serious problem for taxpayers”  this year. Olson calls this a secret plan that IRS officials have not, and should, release to the public. And she says the public should, but has not, been consulted on its development.

The warning that is being sounded is how expensive it could become for taxpayers, especially those poorer, who "will have to pay third parties to assist them" in order to navigate the new system in order to stay within the law. Other dangerous portals opening could result in higher rates of fraud.

Recently, the IRS made other policy changes including dropping its help to the elderly and disabled in preparing their tax returns. Phone wait times have also gone up and if an agent is reached, they are only able to answer basic tax-law questions.

 

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