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IRS Services To Get Worse
According to IRS Commissioner Koskinen, the current fiscal year's budget cuts made on the IRS by congress will cause the following problems:
- Identity theft could increase.-- Despite the need for increased taxpayer protections against identity theft, the implementation of additional measures will be delayed. IRS-Criminal Investigation has responded to what has been termed an "epidemic" of identity theft by ramping up investigations- but with wholesale cuts to IRS, expect those investigations to dip too.
- Refund delays.-- According to the Commissioner, taxpayers who file paper tax returns may have to wait an extra week or longer to see their refund.
- Lags in correspondence.-- Those of us in the field have already become familiar with those letters from IRS that begin "We need more time..." With fewer employees on staff, IRS expects "lengthy delays" to answer correspondence.
- Unanswered calls.-- Predictions weren't terrific for answered call rates before. He notes the "real possibility that fewer than half of taxpayers trying to call us will actually reach us." Those calls that are answered, he says, "will face extended wait times that are unacceptable to all of us."
- Shutdowns.-- The Commissioner indicated that the agency is planning for at least one shutdown this fiscal year.
- Fewer audit closures.-- The reduction in staffing means fewer taxpayer audits will be closed in 2015. Collections case closures will also be reduced. Commissioner Koskinen estimates that the government will, as a result, lose at least $2 billion in revenue.
Ohio Refunds to be Delayed:
Due to a high number of 2013 returns filed using suspected stolen personal IDs, the Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT) is advising that the issuance of legitimate tax refunds for 2014 returns may be delayed. The department has systems in place to detect possible fraud and has added additional personnel to help fulfill legitimate refund requests and expedite reviews and inquiries from taxpayers.
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