IRS Commissioner Whines about His Budget

The IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is worried about the 2015 tax filing season.

IRS sign

Hey, Mr. Koskinen… calm down. Really.

From Forbes.com: “IRS Commissioner Predicts Miserable 2015 Tax Filing Season.”

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen warned that close to half the people trying to reach the IRS by phone might not get through during the upcoming 2015 tax filing season. “Phone service could plummet to 53%,” he told an audience of tax practitioners at the AICPA National Tax Conference in Washington, D.C. today. That would be down from an already unacceptable 72% during the 2014 filing season. The average hold time projection: 34 minutes! What’s to blame? Budget woes. “All we can do is try to maximize our services as well as we can; as well as we can is still going to be miserable. You really do get what you pay for,” he said.

Koskinen’s remarks followed National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson who was even gloomier:“The filing season is going to be the worst filing season since I’ve been the National Taxpayer Advocate {in 2001}; I’d love to be proved wrong, but I think it will rival the 1985 filing season when returns disappeared.”

There are five key factors at play – complicating the upcoming filing season (that’s when you file your 2014 tax return). The IRS agency budget is the number one challenge, Koskinen said. The House has voted to cut the IRS budget for 2015 by $341 million, and the Senate has proposed to increase it by $240 million—that would still be 7% below 2010 funding levels.

In the meantime, Congress keeps passing laws that the IRS has to implement, namely the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”). For example, Koskinen said the IRS requested $430 million in 2014 from Congress to implement the ACA but got zero, forcing it to take money out of enforcement and taxpayer services budgets.

I predict none of your fears will come true this year, because I foresee a record number of hard drive failures all across the U.S., wherein taxpayers will have lost every single record in their possession. This means you won’t have to look through all of those time-consuming numbers. Problem solved.

[See also, “Dear Congress: About Those Hard Drives – If You Aren’t Part of the Solution…]

But, be assured: We’ve all paid every single dime we owe. Honestly.