Cuts to the IRS budget seems to be making that agency's job burdensome while also causing headaches for the public. In December 2014, Congress approved a $10.9 billion IRS budget for the 2015 fiscal year which ends in June, CNN Money reports.
According to Politico
, the cut to the agency's budget amounted to $346 million from the previous fiscal year. The move comes at a time when Congress has slashed the IRS budget for two straight years though the work performed by IRS employees continually requires greater expertise as tax laws become more complex and far reaching.
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Here are five ways the cuts will affect taxpayers:
1. Delayed Returns
A hiring freeze plus normal attrition will result in the IRS having 3,000 to 4,000 less full-time employees by the end of June, according to CNN Money. The IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen said that could mean refunds for tax returns filed by paper – which normally take four to six weeks to issue – could take at least seven weeks or possibly longer. The agency still planned to issue nine out of 10 refunds within 21 days.
2. Less Help for Taxpayers
Cuts in overtime and temporary staff hours will mean fewer IRS employees are available to help taxpayers. Koskinen had warned in January that budget cuts might require the IRS to shut down for two days, but then said in March that wouldn't be necessary, according to U.S. News.
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3. Less Polite Assistance
Taxpayers will be dealing with some relatively stressed out IRS employees, who may be less patient with them.
4. Fewer Audits
The budget cuts will mean cuts in enforcement staff, which will force the IRS to reduce its revenue-producing collection efforts regarding individuals and businesses.
5. Technology Delays
The cuts will also cause delays in implementing technologies that offer new taxpayer protections against identity theft, reports CNN Money. The IRS has been struggling to tackle a massive surge in identity theft.
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