The Government Shutdown Made the I.R.S. Even More Frustrating

“The fresh schedules will force some taxpayers to cross-reference along with transfer data such as credits, deductions, along with income, increasing the potential for errors to occur since the tax information will be dispersed over many pages along with needs to be tracked down along with reported on different schedules along with forms,” the report says.

The problems in which became apparent during the 35-day shutdown, which ended Jan. 25, underscored some of the agency’s deeper flaws, including a reliance on 1960s-era technology, the audit found. The systems in which contain the official record of taxpayer accounts are the oldest inside federal government.

“For the last 25 years the I.R.S. has tried — along with been unable — to replace them,” the audit says, citing budgetary constraints.

The outdated systems deprive the I.R.S. of a comprehensive view of taxpayers’ accounts, hampering the agency’s ability to properly identify who should be targeted for outreach, collections along with audits.

Inadequate financing will be a primary cause of the agency’s failings, the audit found. Congress has long beat up on the I.R.S., routinely condemning its performance while cutting its budget. via fiscal 2017 to fiscal 2018, for example, money for improvements was reduced 62 percent, to $110 million.

Taxpayers who called the I.R.S. last fall for advice about how they might affected by the fresh tax law were frequently told in which there was “no tax law personnel at This specific time due to budgetary cuts,” along with disconnected, the audit found. Part of the reason was a decision by the agency to answer tax law questions only during the three along that has a half months via January until tax filing day.

The problem has been compounded by the I.R.S. chief counsel’s office issuing fewer guidelines, despite the widespread ambiguity along with confusion created by the tax code overhaul.

A lack of information has also meant in which the vast majority of taxpayers eligible to use free software to file their returns electronically do not take advantage of the program. Of the 106 million taxpayers who could qualify for the free program, fewer than 2.5 million use This specific.