An Editorial: Restore IRS Funding!

For the first time this blog was started, an opinion is being expressed. Since the subject matter involves an area of expertise of the author—IRS customer service—it is felt that the readers might be interested in the author’s opinion of the state of the affairs in dealing with the IRS and what to do about it.

Many Americans are not aware of the truly abominable service that the IRS provides at the present time. If one calls the IRS, expect to be on hold for six hours or more (that is, if one can get through). Letters take two months or more for a response. The IRS customer service is so bad that, in the author’s opinion, it is impossible for a taxpayer to solve a problem without the assistance of a licensed tax professional. Even with help of a licensed tax professional (Enrolled Agents, etc.), it can take a long time—six months or more—to resolve a problem.

THIS IS NOT A WAY TO RUN A DEMOCRACY!

Irresponsive government agencies are associated with corrupt banana republics or dictatorships. In those countries, many of the citizenry are hostile to their own government. These people understand that the purpose of government is not to serve its citizenry. The long arc of world history clearly illustrates that irresponsive government does not lead to economic prosperity or civil order.

The United States is supposed to be different. It was founded on the idea of “republicanism”; government rests on the will of the people. That is, there is trust between the government and its citizenry. This has allowed for the United States to enjoy economic prosperity and civil order that most do not have.

The poor customer service provided by IRS will lead to disrespect of the United States tax system. This will lead to disrespect of our government. Economic despair and civil disorder will ultimately follow.

How did this happen?

Congress has slashed the budget of the IRS by $1.2 billion in real dollars from five years ago. In turn, there has been a 17 percent reduction in workforce since 2011.  IRS is caught in the middle of yet another example of the political paralysis that has inflicted Washington.

What should be done now?

The first order of business is to restore funding for the Practitioner Priority Service (PPS). PPS is a means for tax practitioners to directly contact the IRS to handle taxpayers that the tax practitioner represents. Without funding, IRS does not have the support staff to address these concerns. Regardless of political viewpoint, it is hoped that Washington wants tax practitioners to do their jobs as taxpayer advocates!

How can I help restore funding for the Practitioner Priority Service?

Sign the petition at the “We the People” website. “We the People” allows for direct petitioning of the White House. Here is the link:

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/fully-fund-irs-practioner-priority-service

It is the author’s hope, that by speaking out about concerns with the IRS, that the public becomes informed and applies pressure for changes to be made for our common good.

 

By: John J Kasperek, EA. John has been interacting with IRS in his own practice for 28 years.