A few years ago, the IRS experienced huge financial cutbacks and layoffs across the board, a punishment to many Americans who, at any point during the year, needed to contact the IRS.
Increased hold times (according to some reports, doubling to almost 17 minutes in 2014), extended processing windows, and inefficient service became part of the IRS’s plight for consumers, tax professionals, and IRS employees alike.
According to a recent article, everyone involved are at the mercy of budget cuts from a few years ago totaling $618 million. Which was divided among several facets of the IRS’s work force. Chiefly, customer service and auditing.
As a result, customer service was vastly reduced and employee compensation was reduced by $276 million… Enforcement personnel and audit staff also received cuts.
But thanks to a new budget plan for 2015 which includes an 11 percent increase overall, this is all about to change.
The new budget proposal aims to provide $12.5 billion funds to the IRS — an increase of 3 percent over 2014.
“Without the additional funding…” begins a National Treasury Employees Union statement from president Colleen M. Kelley. “The administration’s [fiscal 2015] budget request, taxpayers will continue experiencing a degradation of services.”
The additional funds would help the IRS to achieve greater customer service satisfaction and improve overall performance. Further, it would enable them to cut overlapping programs and redundancies that cost money to keep in operation.
According a study by the watchdog agency on oversight and spending published in early April, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that there were more than 82 duplicative or overlapping IRS programs.
Will the extended budget and applicable cuts help speed up customer service issues and aid in the processing times for taxes in 2015? We’ll just have to wait and see, but it’s a good start.
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