Filing Your Taxes Might Become More Costly

Photo (cc) by free pictures of money

Filing federal income tax returns could soon become more costly or challenging for many Americans.

Those are among the concerns voiced in National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson’s latest annual report to Congress.

The report details what’s sometimes referred to as the Internal Revenue Service’s “future state vision,” which is the federal agency’s multi-year plan to revamp its future operations in light of budget constraints.

The plan calls for more focus on assistance via online accounts and less on phone and face-to-face services, for example.

Olson, who heads the independent watchdog Taxpayer Advocate Service within the IRS, describes the plan as “long overdue” and commends the IRS for undertaking it. But she also expresses concerns about the plan’s possible negative effects on taxpayers.

Click here and learn to slash your taxes with our new tax course!

Olson states in her opening remarks:

These proposed changes have serious ramifications for taxpayers and taxpayer rights. Most significantly, the IRS future state vision redefines tax administration into a class system, where only taxpayers who are the most noncompliant or who can “pay to play” will receive concierge-level service or personal attention. The compliant or trying-to-comply taxpayers will be left either struggling for themselves or paying for assistance they formerly received for free from the IRS.

The Associated Press reports that taxpayers currently make more than 100 million calls to the IRS and more than 5 million visits to its walk-in assistance centers each year.

Due to cutbacks in services that the IRS has made following budget cuts imposed by Congress, many people who call IRS centers do not get through, or only receive answers to simple questions, according to the AP. The IRS has also stopped assisting low-income taxpayers with their returns and conducts fewer audits.

Olson also warns that millions of taxpayers still don’t go on the Internet and therefore can’t get help via the IRS website. Millions more are hesitant to share sensitive information online, she says.

To learn how to slash your taxes in one hour, be sure to check out our new tax course.

Have you experienced difficulty reaching the IRS for assistance recently? Sound off in our Forums. It’s the place where you can speak your mind, explore topics in-depth, and post questions and get answers.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
26 Work-From-Home Jobs That Pay $100,000
26 Work-From-Home Jobs That Pay $100,000

These lucrative gigs let you work in your slippers.

Can My Wife Use My Social Security Benefits While Letting Hers Grow?
Can My Wife Use My Social Security Benefits While Letting Hers Grow?

Your self-discipline in not uttering three little words helps determine whether you can use a key claiming strategy.

Why Cutting the Cord Can Be Confusing — and How to Decide If It’s for You
Why Cutting the Cord Can Be Confusing — and How to Decide If It’s for You

Streaming TV might sound like the antidote to sky-high cable bills, but cutting the cord is easier said than done.

7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value
7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value

You can add value to your home without hiring a contractor to do expensive renovations.

15 Things You Should Always Buy at Yard Sales
15 Things You Should Always Buy at Yard Sales

You can save a ton of money — especially if you spot any of these items.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar
9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar

Cleaning with vinegar can save you a lot of money, but using it like this can cost you.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50
7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50

As we age, our bodies wear down. Here is how to cut costs associated with some common ailments.

What a $15 Minimum Wage Means for Social Security
What a $15 Minimum Wage Means for Social Security

A federal minimum-wage hike could affect the Social Security system dramatically.

This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.
This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.

This brand’s vehicles are least likely to give drivers repair headaches, according to J.D. Power.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.