Thanks to budget cuts the IRS is warning that many taxpayers will not get the assistance they need this tax season.
It is expected that only about half of the people who call the IRS for assistance this year will be connected with a live person, and those callers who do get through could be put on hold for 30 minutes or more even to get answers to simplest of questions.
The National Taxpayer Advocate, who is an independent IRS watchdog, said taxpayers might not only find the lack of support annoying, it could also make it difficult for them to comply with the law.
“Without adequate support, many taxpayers will be frustrated. Some will make potentially costly mistakes,” the National Taxpayer Advocate said in a report issued this week. Additionally, other frustrated taxpayers could decide to “simply give up and not file.”
In addition to fewer customer service representatives, the budgetary problems also mean that the IRS will no longer assist low-income taxpayers with filling out and submitting their returns. Those who file paper returns could also receive delayed refunds.
“Taxpayers who need help are not getting it, and tax compliance is likely to suffer over the longer term if these problems are not quickly and decisively addressed,” the IRS watchdog concluded.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that those who don’t comply with tax laws will be off the hook. Taxpayers will still be held to the same standards as all other years when it comes to filing timely and accurate tax returns — with or without help from the IRS.
For that reason, individuals with questions or concerns would be wise to turn to an experienced tax attorney for guidance. Not doing so could spell trouble with the IRS.