IRS #FAILs at Online Services Spell Problems for Professionals

Unintended consequences: Pushing low-end taxpayer-clients to tax professionals.

By Rick Telberg
CPA Trendlines

Online accounts at the IRS are a good idea, but maybe not as good as the IRS would like to think – certainly not as good as a qualified tax preparer.

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The Taxpayer Advocacy Service has long called for online accounts. In 2016 they became a reality. Unfortunately, for many, it has been a painful reality.

The migration toward online assistance – ideally automated online assistance – is a product of the severe budget cuts the IRS has suffered. The Service can’t afford personnel to man the phones or keep Taxpayer Assistance Centers open.

But the budget cuts did not mandate a cut in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Taxpayers still have a legal right to quality service, confidentiality and a fair, just tax system.