With the new year always comes preparation for taxes, and along with that anxiety for many taxpayers. To help you get a leg up on problems you might face as a taxpayer, read this awesome post from Terry Sheridan, a columnist at Accounting Web, IRS Watchdog Highlights Top 24 Problems Facing Taxpayers.
You can read the full text of the article here.
Nina Olson is a national advocate for taxpayers. The above article is taken from her report on the state of income tax for consumers, both individuals and small businesses. This quote from Ms. Olson's website, "For the IRS to do its job well, it must start from the perspective of what government is about – namely, it is of the people, by the people, and for the people. The government is funded by taxes paid by the people. Therefore, the future state vision of the IRS needs to be designed around the needs of the people," provides a mission statement of the work she does.
Below is an excerpt from the article at Accounting Web;
National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson didn’t mince words in her recent annual report to Congress about the state of taxpayer interactions with the IRS and the agency’s future plans to handle its workload in the face of budget shortfalls.
In short, Olson, who heads the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS), an independent office within the IRS that helps taxpayers and protects taxpayer rights, said the United States is approaching a pay-to-play tax system that unless changes are made and soon, many taxpayers will find themselves in a black hole of wanting to comply and behaving themselves but getting screwed instead.
Taxpayers facing a problem in the future, she said, “will have to undertake ‘self-service’ or obtain ‘for-fee’ third-party assistance. This approach transforms our tax system into a pay-to-play system.”
Olson continued: “Those who are sophisticated enough to understand their tax problem or their tax needs and can navigate the self-help options well enough to protect their rights will be able to do so. Those who have the ability to pay a third party to navigate the IRS and protect their rights will do so. But for those who have neither the expertise, the time, nor the resources to navigate these options – they will be up a creek. They will make mistakes with self-help; they will agree to assessments and adjustments they never should; and they will forfeit significant due-process protections, like the right to go to the US Tax Court or have a collection due-process hearing – all because they can’t talk with an IRS employee about their situation or because they can’t afford to pay someone to help them. This creates a two-class tax system – those who can pay and those who can’t. It undermines the fundamental right to a fair and just tax system. When you add on the additional burden of paying ‘user fees’ for actions and services that are rightly considered core duties and responsibilities of tax administration officials, the financial burden and consequence of pay-to-play becomes even greater. Fundamental rights are now up for sale.”
This article will be invaluable in helping taxpayers circumvent problems that may arise this year with your taxes. Read and share please!