If you thought it took too long to reach the IRS, be prepared to wait even longer. During 2013, the IRS only answered 61% of the calls its received from taxpayers, a steep drop from the 90% responsive rate in 2004. To add, the taxpayer advocate, an independent department in the IRS that works on behalf of taxpayers, reported that it will no longer be able to answer more than “basic” tax law questions. When it comes to the tax laws- define basic. U.S. Tax laws give some of the most esteemed professionals a run for their money. The Internal Revenue Code is one of the most complex, confusing and convoluted legislation to comprehend. Without the assistance of a tax attorney or tax professional, taxpayers who attempt to interpret the tax laws may be left facing penalties, interest, and long and arduous dealings with an IRS auditor for taxes not reported correctly.
The taxpayer advocate states that their inability to respond to taxpayers substantively and in a timely manner is largely due to a lack of resources and inability to meet the demand of assistance requested by taxpayers. “(I)t is a sad state of affairs when the government writes tax laws as complex as ours – and then is unable to answer any questions beyond ‘basic’ ones from baffled citizens who are doing their best to comply,” National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson said in the report. This applies across the board from income taxes, to employment, estate and gift taxes.
Should you find yourself as one of those taxpayers left searching for answers, please do not hesitate to give me a call. I will see that your tax questions do not go unanswered.
– Mark S. Balian, Esq., MBA, LL.M.