Congress Has Hurt The IRS
Congress has hurt the IRS with continued budget cuts. The IRS has lost about 25% of its budget over the last ten years. It has lost about 25% of its auditors, tax collectors and criminal enforcement employees in the last 5 years. This is bad for the country as more and more people chose to not file or pay their taxes anymore.
After a 33 year career as a Senior Tax Collector in the IRS, I am deeply troubled to see that the IRS is slowly unraveling due to Congressional neglect in funding and staffing and support. In fact it is at its weakest point in the last 55 years. Most of its senior management staff has retired, its front line managers have less than ten years experience across the board. 23% less tax collectors and 8% less attorneys. Statistics of Income from 2012-2016 shows that there are now 22% fewer Revenue Agents- the people who audit you and you business. 11% fewer office auditors, Most audit, collection and criminal investigators have retired in the last 5 years. The IRS population went from 110,000 in the 1980’s down to its present level of fewer than 76,219. less than 80,000 employees. A large percentage of which are temporary seasonal employees. are 13% of the agency.
In 1961, then IRS commissioner Mortimer Caplin wrote a very sincere letter to all tax payers and enclosed it in their yearly tax return. He said, “taxes are necessary for the kind of orderly government which will preserve America and its way of life.” The
Washington Post called the letter, “a touching little acknowledgement of the service that citizens perform by paying their taxes…even if it is unlikely to reconcile taxpayers eith to taxes or the tax collectors.”
The mission of the IRS is to administer the Internal Revenue Code which consists of the laws that Congress has passed over the years. IRS officers and agents as well as its support personelle are pros at getting the work done. They will try to do their jobs, depite financial hardships imp[osed by the agency on their travel and access to computer information that would help speed the resolution of their tax cases. The IRS has been on life support for at least the last 8 years. About the same time that the Republicans have controlled Congress.
The IRS is a remarkable organization in that it collects $3.3 trillion dollars a year in tax revenues at a cost of only $11.7 billion dollars
I am the first to say that I do not like the IRS, its collection or audit methods, or its old bad habits of unreasonable search and seizure and lack of due process, but I recognize the we as a nation require that each citizen to “pay their fair share,” of taxes. Congress can debate what is fair.
I am witnessing my lifeswork of promoting understanding tax laws and tax filing and paying compliance quietly dissolve. Throught this nation there are cities and towns in low population areas that are receiving no service from the IRS. The IRS letter machine is strong,no audits. Not even an audit left for all of southern Arizona. In my field of collection I am seeing a barrage of computer generated collection letters for balances due under $50,000. In my tax resolution business, I have clients who owe millions of dollars in unpaid taxes, who are not being worked at all by the IRS, all due to lack of IRS employees to work high balance due accounts. This in turn hurts my business. This hurts the poor taxpayers who are suffering because they have in most cases already lost their businesses and homes and still owe the IRS.
I am now an Enrolled Agent licensed to practice before the IRS, call me, Richard Schickel at 520-668-3243 for a free consultation.