National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson released her 2012 annual report to Congress. Top of the list is TAX REFORM, IRS FUNDING and IDENTITY THEFT. Ms. Olson expressed concern that the IRS is not adequately funded to serve taxpayers and collect tax. She also found that the IRS is not doing enough to assist victims of tax-related identity theft and return preparer fraud.
I really liked the specifics on Tax Reform…the annual report designates the complexity of the tax code as the #1 most serious problem facing taxpayers and recommends Congress take significant steps to simplify it. I would say the tax rate might be the #1 most serious problem facing taxpayers not the tax code. Since 2001, Congress has made nearly 5,000 changes to the tax code, an average of more than one a day and the number of words in the code appears to have reached nearly four million. And we are relying on CONGRESS to simplify it?!!
On IRS Funding, Olson stated, ” The plain truth is that the IRS’s mission trumps all other agencies’ missions, because without an effective revenue collector, you can’t fund those other agencies.” We all know they are special!
Identity Theft is taking over with cases increased by more than 650 percent from 2008 to 2012. She calls for “one-stop shopping” for taxpayers to receive a single point of contact to resolve all issues in their cases. Ms. Olson also thinks the IRS needs a “traffic cop” to make sure all units complete their actions and parts of cases do not fall through the cracks. She states 6 months is an unacceptable period of time to expect taxpayer-victims to wait. Six months is actually a relatively short time for them to complete anything!
The whole report, for your reading pleasure, is available at the National Taxpayer Advocate website. Their motto is “Your Voice at the IRS”.
So let’s recap…they want to make things simple, make the IRS more efficient, get the IRS to do their jobs in a reasonable amount of time and be given more money so they can expand their services…think Congress can handle that?