A Washington Post column by Michelle Singletary provided a rather unusual tax tip for those filing this year: “Don’t expect help from the underfunded IRS.” Singletary quotes the IRS commissioner who doesn’t mince words in indicating that budget cuts mean that the IRS may not be as helpful as they would like to be or as you would expect, ““I would caution taxpayers to use our phone lines only as a last resort.”
sNo matter what you hear about the IRS, this does not mean that tax laws have changed. The understaffing that the IRS will experience this tax season does not give people license to cheat on their taxes. You will still be expected to pay what you owe and to pay it on time…even if there will be delays in refunds for those who file paper tax returns.
The article adds that implementing the requirements of the Affordable Care Act will be another challenge for the already understaffed IRS this year.
In a report to Congress, National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson expressed concern that people will not get the advice they need and should get directly from the IRS so they will need to pay others for help. Some may choose to work on their taxes alone, and this may lead some taxpayers to file incorrectly, and those people may find that they are penalized for errors later.
Singletary advises filing early and using the electronic system. Everyone may not be able to file electronically, so she also emphasizes that this is not the year to put off filing your taxes until the last minute.
Working with a Fee-Only financial planner not only means having someone to assist you at tax time; it means you have a financial expert who is looking for ways to maximize your resources throughout the year. With expert guidance, you do not need to panic about your taxes and you do not have to rely on a tax refund to keep you afloat.