The Internal Revenue Service’s plan to address a mounting workload with shrinking resources could have chilling effects on its relationship with its most important customer: the American taxpayer.
In its 2015 annual report to Congress, the National Taxpayer Advocate warned that the IRS needs to weigh the consequences of implementing a number of proposed service changes in its “future state vision.”
“Every day, the IRS faces the daunting task of juggling an increasing and diverse workload involving both revenue collection and benefits payments, with the relentless demands of doing everything in as cost-efficient a manner possible,” wrote National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson in the report. “But for the IRS to do its job well, it must start from the perspective of what government is about — namely, it is of the people, by the people, and for the people. The government is funded by taxes paid by the people. Therefore, the future state vision of the IRS needs to be designed around the needs of the people.”
But the report, which the independent watchdog released Jan. 6, warned the future vision unfairly discourages, and could penalize, compliant taxpayers.