National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins offered both praise and criticism of the Internal Revenue Service’s Strategic Operating Plan outlining how it will spend the additional $80 billion allocated to the agency as part of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.
“This is a game changer to transform how the U.S. government administers the tax laws in a more helpful and efficient manner while focusing on providing the service taxpayers deserve,”Collins wrote in an April 6, 2023, blog post about the plan.
However, she reiterated criticism over how the funds would be allocated throughout the next 10 years. The IRA allocates only $3.2 billion going to taxpayer services and $4.8 billion allocated to business system modernization, two areas that are in need of funding to help improve the service the agency provides to taxpayers.
“Combined, that’s just ten percent of the total,” she noted. “By contrast, 90 percent was allocated for enforcement ($45.6 billion) and operations support ($25.3 billion). The additional long-term funding provided by the IRA, while appreciated and welcomed, is disproportionately allocated for enforcement activities, and I believe Congress should reallocate IRS funding to achieve a better balance with taxpayer services and IT modernization.”
Collins also cited the report in stating that the funds allocated for taxpayer services will be depleted within four years and cautioned that the agency needs to ensure that funds are continually being allocated for this specific purpose beyond that point.
“Although I share the long-term vision of the SOP, I want to caution that the IRS should not lose sight of its core mission and its immediate challenge of reducing the large backlog of amended returns and taxpayer correspondence.”
Gregory Twachtman, Washington News Editor