The Internal Revenue Service has stated that it aims to eventually make the U.S. tax system a paperless operation as much as possible. Many roles that used to be carried out by people are now delegated to these powerful machines. This can create problems for taxpayers who need to access their information or who are dealing with errors or other issues with their files.
Six Problems That Can Arise as a Result of IRS Computers
Today, every individual taxpayer’s IRS file is electronically stored by tax year or period. The file is accessed by Social Security number rather than by name. Returns that are filed by businesses on behalf of their employees are accessed by an employer identification number. This system, despite offering the potential for a more efficient operation and quicker processing of tax refunds, is also one that can create problems for taxpayers. Here are just a few of the ways this system can create problems for taxpayers:
- Files can be lost within the computer system as a result of human error.
- Files can be damaged or destroyed within the computer system.
- Data entry errors can create problems for taxpayers when information is stored in the computer.
- Errors can be made when trying to follow computer instructions with regard to the processing or submission of tax forms.
- In 2012, a computer problem caused a nationwide delay in the processing of tax refunds.
- Computer technology is constantly changing and must be updated in order to maximize the effectiveness of a system that relies so heavily on computers. Unfortunately, updating the mainframe computers is expensive. Issues can arise when computers within the system are not modernized enough to be able to communicate with each other, when information isn’t available in real time, and when information that is filed on paper has to be manually entered into the computers by typists.
Unfortunately, if you are facing a problem with the IRS, you are not alone. Many people each year find themselves dealing with the IRS as a result of a computer-related error and suffer significant stress and strain because if it.