The National Taxpayer Advocate Points to Systemic Flaws within the IRS

Despite the IRS' recent achievements, and its 5-year Strategic Plan to streamline operations, The National Taxpayer Advocate exposed some core weaknesses. The National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) is an "independent" agency within the IRS, which seeks to bridge voices of taxpayers to decision makers at the IRS.

In its 2018-2019 report to Congress, NTA identifies and discusses problem areas within the IRS that needs work. Among those suggested courses of action to improve the taxpayer experience include:

  • Adequately explaining the changes imposed by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act;
  • Reconsidering its private debt-collection model, which is losing money and depriving low-income taxpayers of enough protection;
  • Fixing the false detection rate associated with IRS fraud and ID theft;
  • Fixing due-process infringements because of a newly implemented passport denial and revocation program; and
  • Reinstating phone availability to resolve disputes versus pushing taxpayers to use the internet; and Better funding and implementing technology.

Much of the the report advocates for a better screening system to stop the accounts of SSDI recipients from being assigned to private debt collectors. Low income and vulnerable taxpayers may turn over exempt income because of a fear of an immediate levy.

The link to the NTA report is here.

Categories: IRS, Tax debt
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