The Internal Revenue Service is not providing taxpayers with sufficient tools to manage their accounts online, National Taxpayer Advocate Erin Collins said.
In an April 28, 2022, blog post, Collins stated that despite progress in the development of its online account application, “the IRS has yet to develop and adopt a one-stop solution for online and digital offerings that combine communications and interaction with individual and business taxpayers as well as with tax professionals.”
Collins offered a number of solutions the IRS should be working on to help improve its virtual offerings, including:
- providing taxpayers with the ability to navigate to all IRS online information and services;
- making it simple for taxpayers to access various online tools;
- conditioning taxpayers to use Online Account application as the starting and ending point with their online interactions with the agency; and
- providing the option for those who are married and jointly file their tax returns to link their individual accounts.
Additionally, the IRS needs to offer a business version of the Online Account application to increase digital support for businesses that “at minimum” offers the same support features for individual taxpayers, Collins added.
For tax professionals, Collins said there is a need for better access by those professionals to their clients’ Online Account application from within the Tax Pro Account application.
“This one improvement would be significant for tax professionals in assisting taxpayers to meet their filing and payment obligations and provide much-needed assistance and guidance to them,” she stated.
Collins also called for the IRS to integrate the “Where’s My Refund” tool into the Online Account application as well as prioritize improving its functionality to help decrease the call volume customer service representatives are dealing with.
The agency “needs to have robust online accounts available for all taxpayers and tax professionals that provide information, guidance, and the capability to work and resolve issues online,” she stated.