Harsh collection tactics employed by the Internal Revenue Service against delinquent taxpayers are tormenting citizens, harming their financial well-being, and jeopardizing government revenues. National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson told Congress that imposing liens on taxpayers damages their credit scores and makes it harder for them to get jobs, insurance, and housing, the Washington Post reported
Olson, who works as an ombudsman at the IRS, said in her annual report to Congress that “despite the worst economy in at least a generation,” the IRS continues to use tough tactics against taxpayers. She reported that liens against taxpayers reached 1.1 million in fiscal year 2010, up from just over 500,000 in 2005. Nonetheless, revenue from the collection program has “remained flat,” The Post said.
“Absent data that shows liens make a meaningful contribution to revenue collection and especially in this economy, I find it unacceptable that the IRS continues to torment financially struggling taxpayers in this way,” Olson said according to the newspaper.
An IRS spokesman said liens are automatically placed on taxpayers who owe more than $5,000. Olson advocated looking at each case individually and compromising with those who cannot pay in full.
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