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IRS watchdogs continue to beat drum on security and service

IRS watchdogs continue to beat drum on security and service
If death and taxes are the only two certainties in life, customer service and security are the only two certainties in taxes — at least when it comes Internal Revenue Service oversight.

The National Taxpayer Advocate and Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC) released their respective reports, both of which reviewed the 2017 filing season, highlighted focus areas and made recommendations for the tax agency to address in the short and long term.

“The IRS must change its focus to taxpayer service, outreach, and education first,” National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson said in her mid-year report. “It must revise its mission statement back to an emphasis on taxpayer service and add a focus on taxpayer rights. It must reinstate a geographic presence for its audit, collection, and appeals functions as well as expand outreach and education. It must pick up the phone and talk with taxpayers, and listen to them when they speak. To enable the IRS to do these things, Congress must provide sufficient funding. And Congress should conduct sufficient oversight over the IRS to ensure that it actually does them.”

The House Appropriations Committee proposed an $11.1 billion FY18 budget for IRS, a cut of $149 million below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $111 million above the President’s budget request.If death and taxes are the only two certainties in life, customer service and security are the only two certainties in taxes — at least when it comes Internal Revenue Service oversight. The National Taxpayer Advocate and Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC) released their respective reports, both of which reviewed the 2017 filing season, highlighted focus areas and made recommendations for the tax agency to address in the short and long term. “The IRS must change its focus to taxpayer service, outreach, and education first,” National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson said in her mid-year report. “It must revise its mission statement back to an emphasis on taxpayer service and add a focus on taxpayer rights. It must reinstate a geographic presence for its audit, collection, and appeals functions as well as expand outreach and education. It must pick up the phone and talk with taxpayers, and listen to them when they speak. To enable the IRS to do these things, Congress must provide sufficient funding. And Congress should conduct sufficient oversight over the IRS to ensure that it actually does them.” The House Appropriations Committee proposed an $11.1 billion FY18 budget for IRS, a cut of $149 million below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $111 million above the President’s budget request.

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