“Talk to Taxpayers!” Tax Advocate Tells IRS in Annual Report to Congress

People across the United States will begin to file their tax income returns to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on January 23, but a National Tax Advocate Nina Olson has advised the IRS to “talk to the taxpayers” in a yearly report she submitted to Congress, Forbes reports.

Olson in her report is asking Congress to bring a lot of reformation to the way the IRS is operated and to also look into changing the tax code among other things in order to make it easier for taxpayers to fulfill their obligations with ease. It is true that Congress has changed things in the tax code more than 5,900 since 2001, the fact remains that most taxpayers have serial complaints on how the IRS is managed.


Many taxpayers find it difficult to reach the IRS or talk to a representative over the telephone or face to face in their offices for reasons the IRS continues to examine without any change. Connecting to the IRS on phone is a real tussle and those who are lucky enough to get through are kept waiting for over 20 minutes on end without any ultimate solution to their tax problems.

Olson accused the IRS of being too enforcement-oriented rather than being service-oriented, but IRS Commissioner John Koskinen disagrees that the agency is not doing enough in the area of taxpayer service, saying “we strongly believe that a balanced approach to taxpayer service and tax enforcement is critical to running a sound tax system.”

Koskinen agrees that taxpayers would benefit greatly if the IRS reduced tax burdens and reforms the tax code, but he calls for an increase to the resources available to the IRS to enable the agency administer tax reforms and services better.

Olson in her report to Congress desires that all complexities and irregularities in tax code which cause taxpayers to commit unknown errors and make compliance an impossible burden should be removed. These identified problems among others are most common to poor taxpayers who can’t afford to hire or consult professional tax advisers, making them more confused on how to administer their income tax returns and subsequently making them victims of their own ignorance.

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