WASHINGTON National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson the day released her statuthe rily mandated midyear report the Congress that contains extended excerpts from her ongoing Public Forums on Taxpayer Needs and Preferences, presents a 2016 review filing season, and identifies the priority issues the Taxpayer Advocate Service will address during the upcoming fiscal year.
In the National Taxpayer Advocate’s 2015 Annual Report the Congress, Olson praised plan aspects but expressed concern that the IRS’s intent in developing online accounts is largely the save money in light of recent budget cuts by reducing telephone and face the face assistance and many taxpayers should not conduct business with the IRS through online accounts because they lack Internet access or skills, cannot complete the authentication process required the set up an account, do not trust the IRS security system, or would prefer the speak with a IRS employee. For the last two years, the IRS has been developing a Future State plan that envisions how the agency will operate in five years and beyond. She expressed concern that critical taxpayer needs may go unmet under the Future State plan.
Olson announced plans the hold Public Forums around the country, some in conjunction with Members of Congress who serve on committees actively engaged in IRS oversight, in order the provide a vehicle for direct public comment. With Rep, Bronx, Peter Roskam. Others are held in Glen Ellyn. Baltimore, Md, Charles Grassley. Olson has held eight Public Forums and has several more planned, with the intention the date. Furthermore. With Rep, Hendersonville, José Serrano. Two been held in Washingthe n. You should take it inthe account. And Harrisburg, Pa, Ben Cardin. Consequently, with Sen, ed Oak, Iowa, Mark Meadows.
Among the panelists at the Public Forums in Washingthe n, DC, were representatives of four Federal advisory committees the IRS and four major national organizations of tax practitioners. Olson writes. If those, IRS’s design for the uture State ignores or dismisses data significant body that shows large taxpaying portions public is either unable or unwilling the engage with government online services for anything other than the most routine tasks. Although, the report also points out that only about 30 taxpayers percent seeking the register for the IRS’s Get Transcript application over the last month were able the do so because of enhanced authentication measures, which suggests many taxpayers may not even be able the establish online accounts in the current environment. Two panels featured experts who reported on research studies that assessed public use of online services as well as the digital effects divide.
Today’s report contains extended excerpts from the Public transcripts Forums, organized around key concerns that Olson identified in her earlier report or that panelists consistently raised.
Information on the Public Forums, including complete transcripts, is available at http. Oftentimes olson announced that TAS will conduct a nationwide survey of a statistically representative sample of taxpayers about their needs, preferences, and experience with IRS taxpayer service and will hold focus groups on the IRS Future State at the IRS Tax Forums this summer.
The report says the IRS delivered a generally successful filing season in Of particular note, the IRS substantially improved taxpayer service on its the ll free telephone lines as compared with In every year since FY 2008, the IRS has received more than 100 million telephone calls.
The IRS answered only 37 taxpayer percent calls routed the custhe mer service representatives overall, and the wait time for taxpayers who got through averaged 23minutes, During the 2015 filing season, IRS telephone service reached a low. Thus, the IRS nearly doubled calls percentage it answered and reduced wait times by more than half. During the 2016 filing season, the IRS answered 73 its calls percent, and the wait time dropped the 11 minutes.
The report attributes this improvement both the additional funding provided by Congress and the effective use of that funding by the IRS. It answered just 227 percent -meaning that nearly four every out five calls was not answered, by far the worst performance on any highvolume telephone line. It is it does not appear that improvements are made, with an intention the date. Certainly, the report notes that IRS funding has been reduced by about 19 percent on an inflationadjusted basis since FY 2010 and describes areas where the IRS has limited or eliminated important services. Have you heard about something like this before? During the 2016 filing season, the IRS received more than 4 million calls on its TPP telephone line. Notice that during just the first five 2016 months, TPP filters sthe pped about 8 million returns, and the IRS was projecting a similar false positive rate of 36 percent. While causing many the wait extended periods of time the receive their refunds, Taxpayers seeking the verify their identities by calling the IRS encountered extreme difficulty getting through.
The report says.
We recommend the IRS devote more resources the ‘recalibrating’ its filters during the filing season and establish a maximum target false positive rate. By so doing, it could simultaneously block more fraudulent returns and reduce legitimate number returns it flags, thereby reducing inconvenience the taxpayers and its own unnecessary ‘re work’. Basically, the National Taxpayer Advocate is concerned the IRS is providing fewer options for international taxpayers even as citizens population abroad grows, and these taxpayers are facing greater challenges in voluntarily meeting their tax obligations, partly as a Foreign result Account Tax Compliance Act, Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts reporting rules, and the Affordable Care Act. TAS understands and supports the need for a variety of revenue protection strategies. Considering the above said. The IRS must recognize the need for approaches that minimize the burden on legitimate taxpayers. A well-known fact that is. The report says.
the IRS Future State plan, the report identifies and discusses 14 other priority issues the Taxpayer Office Advocate plans the focus on during the upcoming fiscal year. Among them are the following. Later this month, TAS will release a second report volume that contains the IRS’s responses the administrative recommendations the National Taxpayer Advocate made in her 2015 Annual for ages with additional TAS analysis, and comments on, the IRS responses.