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Taxpayer Advocate: IRS Lacks Customer-First Focus

Taxpayer Advocate: IRS Lacks Customer-First Focus

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson’s recent annual report to Congress makes clear that she wants the embattled IRS to make a 180-degree shift in its game plan: focus more on service to taxpayers rather than enforcement.

While certain aspects of the IRS’s Future State plan are commendable, it fails to include “the needs and preferences of US taxpayers – an incredibly diverse and complex population,” she states in the report.

Though the IRS budget cutbacks understandably have brought an increase in “digital self-service options,” such “constrained communication, coupled with automated impersonal and often harmful IRS actions, can alienate the taxpayer population and over time may undermine compliance,” the report states.

Even if there wasn’t an effect on compliance (which Olson doesn’t believe), it’s just not good government to have taxpayers “alienated from and distrustful of the one government agency they interact with at least annually throughout their adult lives,” the report states.

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