National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson recently released her 2014 annual report to Congress, which expresses concern that taxpayers this year are likely to receive the worst levels of taxpayer service since at least 2001, when the IRS implemented its current performance measures. The report recommends that Congress enact a principles-based Taxpayer Bill of Rights, adopt additional safeguards to make those rights meaningful, and provide sufficient funding to make the “Right to Quality Service” a reality.
The report says the combination of the IRS’s increasing workload, the erosion of public trust, and the sharp reduction in funding have created a “perfect storm” of trouble for tax administration and therefore for taxpayers. “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,” Olson wrote.
The report also urges Congress to enact comprehensive tax reform, pointing out that simplification would ease burdens on taxpayers and the IRS alike.