Sunday October 13, 2019
Taxpayer Advocate Desires IRS Improvements
National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson will be retiring on July 31, 2019. In her final report to Congress, Olson expressed her appreciation for the opportunity to serve taxpayers.
"I am enormously grateful for the opportunity I've had to advocate on behalf of our nation's taxpayers," Olson noted. "Amazingly, despite the challenges of complying with our multi-million-word tax code, more than 150 million individual taxpayers and more than 10 million business entities do their civic duty every year by filing income tax returns with the IRS. That is an extraordinary achievement and one we should not take for granted."
Olson has also been at the forefront of efforts to improve IRS services. She used this final report to explain some specific concerns about the IRS.
Olson noted, "But even as the system works for most taxpayers most of the time, it doesn't work for millions of others. Taxpayer service is woefully inadequate. IRS audit notices are often unclear, leading some taxpayers to agree to assessments by default – even when they do not owe the tax. And the IRS doesn't screen for ability to pay before it takes collection actions, thereby causing or worsening financial hardships for financially vulnerable taxpayers."
The three primary areas for improvement that Olson highlighted include IRS taxpayer services, self-service applications and financially vulnerable taxpayers.
Published June 21, 2019