IRS Increases Aggressive Tax Collection Efforts

The IRS has gotten increasingly more aggressive with its tax collections practices
The IRS has gotten increasingly more aggressive with its tax collections practices

The need for tax reform and the IRS's harsh collection techniques top taxpayers' most serious problems, according to the National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) annual report to Congress.

Each year, the National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA) is mandated under the Tax Code to identify at least 20 of the most serious problems encountered by taxpayers and make recommendations about how to solve those problems in a report to Congress. (You can read the entire report here.)

Not surprisingly, this year the NTA, Nina Olsen, identified the need for tax reform as the number-one priority in tax administration. In the Executive Summary, the NTA notes a recent analysis of IRS data which indicated that taxpayers spend a whopping 6.1 billion hours a year in order to comply with filing requirements. "If tax compliance were an industry, it would be one of the largest in the United States," according to the report. "To consume 6.1 billion hours, the 'tax industry' requires the equivalent of more than three million full-time workers."

Also on the list of taxpayer problems? The NTA expressed continuing concern that the IRS's increasing use of hard-core enforcement actions is causing unnecessary harm for taxpayers. The report found that IRS collections efforts don't achieve the obvious goal of getting taxpayers compliant and staying compliant because of the harsh techniques.

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