December the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on the 2013 Tax filing season (2012 returns). The title is “IRS Needs to Do More to Address the Growing Imbalance between the Demand for Services and Resources.” The link leads you to a GAO page where you can read the summary or download the report in PDF.
Some of the findings:
- The % of responses to taxpayer correspondence taking more than 45 days increased to 47% from 40% the prior year.
- Only 68% of people calling in for IRS help received it. At least this is the same % as the prior year. Laughably, the recommended response goal is only 80% but IRS has not adopted the recommended goal. If Congress made the law simpler perhaps the IRS could set a higher goal.
- IRS plans some service cuts in order to use its budget to achieve more important goals. The cuts will probably not provide enough money to cover the improvements in the remaining service areas.
- Installment agreement program for paying taxes due improved but still needs work.
- The late receipt of information returns (W-2s, Forms 1099, etc.) prevent IRS from catching non-filers in a timely manner.
The IRS noted in its response that it continues to have budget cuts. With Obamacare enforcement added to IRS’ other growing responsibilities, IRS is having to do more with less. This is a chart of IRS budget versus their requests from 2002-2014:
Source: IRS Oversight Board FY2014 IRS Budget Recommendation (PDF)
You can also go to the IRS Oversight Board Reports page and download the file from there.