2019 was another tough year for the IRS, according to a new federal report.
"Putting Taxpayers First" highlights the development of a new Taxpayer Withholding Estimator, as well as operations support efforts on areas involving IT modernization, human capital office initiatives and other moves.
The primary problem is that IRS has been struggling with a massive shortage of funding and an increased workload.
"These losses directly correlate with a steady decline in the number of individual audits during the past nine years", the report said. The agency's future looks challenging too: A recent report from the IRS estimates that about 31% of its remaining workforce will retire within the next five years. While it's pretty exciting to get a tax refund check, what it means is that the government has taken more in taxes from you than it should have It's the equivalent of giving the federal government an interest-free loan over the course of the year. Here's more info you need to know about filing taxes in 2020, including how to file taxes for free and when you can expect your tax refund.
Additionally, the Taxpayer Advocate report found, many taxpayers who file legitimate returns waited weeks or months for a refund in the previous year because of a new fraud filter. "On all fronts they are under-resourced". The new filter flagged and stopped the processing of almost 1.1 million returns.
Congressional Republicans led the charge to sharply reduce funding for the IRS over the past decade, and the agency has warned repeatedly that it has been deprived of the resources necessary to catch tax cheats.
"We encourage taxpayers to plan ahead and use the tools and information available on IRS.gov", said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig in a statement.
"Another 20 percent cut in IRS auditing", said Harvard University economist Lawrence Summers, who served as Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton.