The IRS’ Passive-Aggressive Model to take MORE from You
The IRS may have become the most cost-efficient government agency of all. That may sound like good news, but there is a dark side to that efficiency. Unfortunately the IRS is no longer interested in collecting the correct amount of taxes, but instead is using a passive-aggressive model to take more from you, even if means denying your right to due process.
The efficiency. Since 2001 the IRS has expanded its Automated Under-Reporter Program (AUR) 670%. By 2012 it was spending only 48 cents for every $100 in tax revenue collected, all done automatically by computers without human aid. However, it failed to install safeguards in its Information Matching program to insure that the computerized Notices were accurate.
The IRS’ passive-aggressive model for collecting more.
The IRS is using a passive-aggressive model to collect additional taxes from people who don’t actually owe more.
Aggressively the IRS is sending computer-generated Notices to collect taxes from people even though about half of them don’t actually owe taxes (according to the Tax Inspector General who oversees the IRS). Our experience supports the 50% error rate with some people receiving Levy Notices on matters that were closed-out months earlier.
Passively the IRS has cut taxpayer services making it difficult for anyone to correct its errors, effectively denying people their right to due process. Contacting the IRS results in long hold-times on the phone and long delays through the mail. After multiple attempts many people become frustrated to the point that they simply give up and pay the taxes (including penalties for inaccuracy).
The IRS considers their automated program to be very successful because it brings in a lot of revenue. The ineptitude of the IRS has cost taxpayers a lot of money unnecessarily, either in paying taxes they didn’t owe or in paying fees to professionals to defend them.