Each and every year, the labyrinthine federal tax code grows ever more complicated. Unsurprisingly, many taxpayers turn to the Internal Revenue Service for direction. Despite the increasingly digital nature of modern life, many citizens still like the good old-fashioned simplicity of talking to an actual human being. The IRS, on the other hand, feels differently. From Bloomberg News:
A planned expansion of IRS online offerings will leave taxpayers seeking help the old-fashioned way “up a creek,” [national taxpayer advocate Nina] Olson said, listing it as the No. 1 problem in a report to Congress that was released Wednesday.
The analysis by the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent office within the IRS, must include the “most serious problems” taxpayers face when dealing with the agency.
The main focus this year: an emphasis on enforcement over customer service in the IRS’ long-term strategic plan, and how it could force many to pay tax preparers for advice they used to get for free.
It makes sense. The agency has no incentive whatsoever to make the process easier or more convenient. Whether through hook or crook, they’ll get their due regardless.