If you’re one of the thousands of taxpayers that have been through the grueling process of an IRS tax dispute, chances are you don’t have a favorable view of the agency. So it’s quite unlikely that anything could ever make you “feel sorry” for the agency. Don’t worry—we won’t ask you to!
But as it becomes clear that the IRS is struggling to handle their growing responsibilities, the fear many experts have is that the lack of resources will make life more difficult for taxpayers—not just for the agency itself.
This is a very real concern, as NonProfitQuarterly.org reports:
A recent report from the U.S. Department of Treasury inspector general for tax administration outlines the personnel and budget challenges the IRS faces in meeting its mission. The report’s title is basically its conclusion: “Improvements Have Been Made to Address Human Capital Issues, but Continued Focus Is Needed.”
The IRS budget approved by Congress has decreased by more than two percent in the past year. The $11.8 billion IRS budget falls short of President Barack Obama’s proposal, which would have allocated more than $1 billion beyond its previous $12.1 billion mark. To cope, the IRS has slashed travel, training, and related expenses. It has implemented a hiring freeze and offered buyouts and early retirements to some employees. Early retirements often result in a talent drain in organizations, and the IRS has something else to worry about in this regard. Federal News Radio notes that, “within five years,” 70 percent “of all agency executives” and “50 percent” of its non-executive managers will be eligible for retirement. The IRS workforce has now dropped below 100,000 employees.
Although the Affordable Care Act allowed for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to pay the IRS to hire more than 850 employees to enforce provisions of the law, this hiring has not happened.
To summarize, the IRS is being asked to do more, but not given the employees it needs to handle their increasing role. The result for taxpayers won’t be good—and could include longer delays, more mistakes, and greater difficulty communicating with the agency. Not to mention the prospect of IRS agents who are in an even worse mood than usual!
While it’s never pleasant dealing with the IRS, all indicators are that the situation is going to get even worse. If you’re facing an IRS dispute, don’t take the agency on by yourself. Give us a call and let us deal with the IRS so that you don’t have to!