Every year, millions of taxpayers get ready to file their income tax return, a process that is feared by many, but that we all need to take care of. Having to collect and document our expenses can be a daunting task, especially when we don’t have the proper guidance. However, there are other situations that can be frustrating to taxpayers, including the IRS challenges we are likely to face. From customer service and insufficient staffing, to aging technology, delayed refunds, dissatisfying software, inexperienced preparers, and language limitations, these are 6 frustrating IRS challenges taxpayers might have to face this year.
Customer Service and Insufficient Staffing
One of the main IRS challenges taxpayers are likely to face is the quality of customer service provided. Last year, the IRS received around 100 million telephone calls, and only 29% were answered. This may be due to the insufficient staffing situation this federal agency is going through. The IRS is one of the lowest-performing agencies when it comes to customer experience, and its shrinking budget isn’t helping.
Aging and Outdated Technology
Another challenge that the tax agency and taxpayers alike are facing is the issue with aging and outdated technology. As we mentioned above, the IRS budget has been shrinking, which makes technological updates and infrastructure improvements quite difficult. In order to improve the systems it has, this federal agency needs around $2.5 billion.
Financial Hardship Due to Delayed Refunds
Refund fraud is one of the most common IRS challenges the agency must deal with every year. In order to prevent this, they have designed several filters that usually work well. However, these filters can also end up delaying legitimately filed returns, which could cause financial hardship to some taxpayers.
Dissatisfaction with Free File Software
Free File is a free federal tax preparation software that taxpayers can access through the IRS.gov website. However, the vast majority of taxpayers who filed their returns electronically prefer suing other software products. Only 2% of e-filing taxpayers actually use Free File software. The other 98% chose other options mainly due to dissatisfaction with the platform.
Inexperienced Preparers Entering the Business
It is always a good idea to hire a tax preparer that can help us file our income tax report. However, we should always make sure we hire well-trained and experienced professionals to do the job. One of the most concerning IRS challenges is the fact that it is now easier for untrained prepares to enter the business. This jeopardizes the information and the finances of taxpayers altogether.
Serious Lack of Multilingual Notices
As a federal agency, the IRS is required to implement a system that allows people with limited English proficiency to have access to the services it provides. However, one of the biggest IRS challenges is the lack of multilingual notices taxpayers the agency offers. The agency only translates some important notices into Spanish, but with more than 300 languages spoken in the US, more options are in order.