Tags: Taxpayers | Illegals | IRS | DHS

Less Help for Taxpayers, More Help for Illegals

Friday, 13 February 2015 12:36 PM Current | Bio | Archive

There’ve been big developments in government telecommunication programs but both are marred by typical federal backward thinking: The IRS will be doing less for taxpayers in its call center, while the Department of Homeland Security will be doing more for illegal aliens.
Forbes reports IRS Commissioner John Koskinen — who personifies the obdurate, uncooperative, vindictive bureaucrat — has “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.”
That 50-50 chance of getting through is significantly worse than 2014, plus when you do get through, the average hold time is expected to be 34 minutes. Taxpayers stand a better chance calling the Comcast or Verizon helpline and discussing the weather in Bombay.
Maybe taxpayers expect too much. Is it fair to require the IRS to plan for these sudden, unexpected call surges that happen around April 15. It’s not like it’s a yearly event or anything.
Nina Olsen, IRS Taxpayer Advocate (Official logo: See No, Hear No & Speak No Evil surrounded by burning dollar bills), sighs, “The filing season is going to be the worst filing season since I’ve been the National Taxpayer Advocate. I’d love to be proved wrong, but I think it will rival the 1985 filing season when returns disappeared.”
Her official report goes into considerable detail discussing Koskinen’s implementation of the Dante Phone Protocol: Abandon All Hope Ye Who Telephone Here.
Each year the IRS receives 150 million individual income tax returns. Simultaneously since 2008 there have been approximately 100 million yearly calls from taxpayers crying for help. The failure of call volume to increase was mildly surprising to management, since the tax code becomes more complex each year. Then supervisors discovered call center employees were putting entire area codes on the federal Do Not Call List.
And don’t get your hopes up if your call is answered. The report explains, “To make matters worse, the IRS last year decided it would answer only what it terms 'basic' questions, declaring 'more complex' questions that it previously answered 'out of scope.' Therefore, even when a taxpayer manages to get through to a telephone assistor with a question, the assistor may not be able to provide an answer.”

The situation is so bad “assistors” will no longer reply to, “How ‘bout 'dem Redskins?”
Citizens who tried to log on to HealthCare.dud may not believe it, but the IRS does have a semi-functioning website where you can track the progress of your tax refund. It’s not like the Uber app where after calling for a ride you can watch a tiny car be misdirected around the map by Uber’s somewhat whimsical GPS system.
There is no tiny check wandering through file cabinets. Instead the IRS site is more like tracking a UPS package. After entering your Social Security number and sending a DNA swab the system reports your refund’s progress. Sample updates include:
  •     Refund processing
  •     Refund in check printing queue
  •     Refund held while Service investigates ex–wife’s child support claim
  •     Refund waiting for toner to be replaced in check–writing machine
  •     Refund bumped by priority processing for illegal alien Earned Income & Child Credit refunds
  •     Refund waiting for postage
  •     Refund on Lois Lerner’s desk
The IRS has but a single taxpayer advocate while it appears illegal aliens have an entire cabinet department at their disposal.
The Washington Times says the DHS intends to install three complaint lines for people who shouldn’t be here in the first place. Illegals unhappy about how they were treated under Obama’s illegal amnesty are asked to "Please tell us about your experience."
Illegals will be able to call up to three complaint lines including Customs & Border Patrol, Immigration & Customs Enforcement; and Citizenship & Immigration.
I wonder how much it would cost to install a fourth line for taxpayers incredulous over this waste of money that’s evidently going to slip past a Republican Congress.
The term government “complaint line” always creates suspicions regarding sincerity. 
My suggestion would be to save money by consolidating the call center with the IRS system. Benefits are obvious: Most calls won’t be answered, neither call center is really interested in helping, and discouraged illegals will learn Uncle Sam is not always Tio de Santa. 
Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher (for the League of American Voters), and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.

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The IRS will be doing less for taxpayers in its call center, while the Department of Homeland Security will be doing more for illegal aliens.
Taxpayers, Illegals, IRS, DHS
Friday, 13 February 2015 12:36 PM
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