The IRS has admitted that its service to the public has been less than stellar.
“Between 2004 and 2012 the proportion of calls on its toll-free line it managed to answer fell from 87% to 68%, and the average wait rose from 3 minutes to 17. This year it is doing even worse.” Similarly, April 15th is the busiest day of the year for the IRS; however, the agency only answered 57% of the phone calls made that day.
Overall, the IRS budget has cut its own budget by 8%. In order to save extra money, the IRS will be closed 5 different business days this summer. Likewise, the IRS training budget has also been cut by 80%.
So the question becomes, who is to blame?
Perhaps the IRS is to blame. However, in all reality, the fault lies with the bureaucrats on Capitol Hill and the myriad of mediocre alterations, which have oft confused the constituents the IRS is there to aid.
“It is now [US tax code] 4m words long, and has been changed over 4,000 times since 2001 (see table). Americans spend 6.1 billion hours a year complying with it—enough work to keep over 3m people employed full-time without producing anything. Nearly 90% of filers pay for help with their returns. The cost of all this is equivalent to 15% of the tax raised, the taxpayer advocate reckons. This too, is self-defeating, in that it discourages compliance.”
Bill Gale of the Brookings Institution argues that “tax reform is always the bridesmaid and never the bride.” As seen time and time again, both parties speak of grand reform, but in the end, their own vested interests continue to outweigh those of the constituents.
- IRS Updates “Where’s My Refund?” (turbotax.intuit.com)
- IRS poised to pay $70M in bonuses (politico.com)
- Have you been contacted by the IRS? (austintaxsolutions.wordpress.com)
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