Taxpayer Advocate Concerned About IRS Plans To Move More Support Online

It was just last week that we wrote about how this year will probably be better than last year for U.S. taxpayers with questions or problems. Yet looking forward to the next decade or so, changes in how the IRS provides support will mean leaving some Americans behind.

One potentially worrisome area is fees: when the IRS had less money for operations, they raised the fees for some services, and has proposed adding more. For example, people who owe a large amount of tax and need to set up an installment plan. The fee just for setting up such a plan was $105 in 2013, and $140 in 2014.

“Fees that seem reasonable to the IRS may seem outrageous to taxpayers when added to the costs of recordkeeping, filing and paying taxes and paying professionals for help in navigating complicated rules and procedures that the government created,” the Taxpayer Advocate’s report points out.

You’re reading a website, so you may be more comfortable with the idea of seeking help for your taxes online. However, there are still large numbers of Americans who are uncomfortable with going online, or who lack home Internet access or computers. Cutting resources to traditional help methods like toll-free phone numbers would be a problem for that population, and Olson’s office is concerned that moving help resources online could hurt elderly and poor taxpayers, who are already at a disadvantage.

IRS Web Move May Leave Older, Poorer Filers Behind