The National Taxpayer Advocate’s (NTA) Annual Report to Congress creates a dialogue within the IRS and the highest levels of government to address taxpayers’ problems, protect taxpayers’ rights, and ease taxpayers’ burden.
“Like any agency, the IRS can operate more effectively and efficiently in certain areas. However, we do not see any substitute for sufficient personnel if high-quality taxpayer service is to be provided. The only way the IRS can assist the tens of millions of taxpayers seeking to speak with an IRS employee is to have enough employees to answer their calls…We do not think it is acceptable for the government to tell millions of taxpayers who seek help each year, in essence, ‘We’re sorry. You’re on your own.”
The National Taxpayer Advocate’s report makes the case that the recent budget environment has brought about an erosion of taxpayer service at the IRS, and that taxpayer protections have been eroded by a lack of effective administrative and congressional oversight, coupled with a failure to pass taxpayer rights legislation. The report states these trends are reshaping tax administration – but the downward slide can be addressed if Congress makes an investment in the IRS and holds it accountable for how it applies that investment.