How can the IRS bureaucracy cause me tax problems?

Of all the federal bureaucracies, the Internal Revenue Service is the largest, with approximately 95,000 seasonal and permanent employees. These employees deal with roughly 141 million individual income tax returns each year. In addition, they must work with a tax code that is constantly changing. The Code changed 4,430 times between 2001 and 2010, with an estimated 579 changes in 2010 alone. That averages out to more than one change every day. As a result, the bureaucracy of the IRS can make it very difficult for taxpayers searching for solutions to their tax problems.

Six Ways IRS Bureaucracy Creates or Worsens Tax Problems

How can IRS bureaucracy impact you? The following are six examples:

  1. Many people complain that some IRS workers are not “self-starters,” making it more difficult to get your tax problem resolved.
  2. IRS employees often take a very “by the book” approach to dealing with your tax problem. This can be extremely frustrating when you are highly motivated to reach a solution and it does not feel as though the IRS worker assigned to your case is equally motivated to find resolution.
  3. The IRS is governed by a maze of rules, procedures, and complicated tax laws. When trying to work with such a large agency to navigate through these rules and laws, the process can be extremely difficult.
  4. With a bureaucracy as large as the IRS, it is not uncommon for paperwork to get lost in the shuffle. This can create unnecessary setbacks during the process of attempting to resolve your tax problem.
  5. Simply getting a live person on the phone, or the same person each time, can prove a great difficulty when dealing with IRS bureaucracy. In 2013, one study found that as many as 49% of the 109 million people who attempted to call the IRS were unable to get a live person on the phone. Many of these callers were attempting to respond to IRS questions raised about their tax returns.
  6. Visiting an IRS walk-in center can be just as difficult as attempting to get a live person on the phone. In the past, the IRS would answer as many as a million questions each year through visits to these walk-in centers. Beginning in 2014, however, the agency announced that it would only answer basic questions at these centers. The agency also discontinued its practice of assisting the poor, elderly, and disabled with their taxes.

Get Help From Someone Who Will Take Your Call

Whatever your tax problem may be, it is important to educate yourself before proceeding. We encourage you to check out our free guide, The Ultimate Guide for IRS Problems, as you begin the process towards trying to resolve your problem and call us with questions.  We will take your call.