IRS Faces Tax Season Challenges

Wednesday, November 11, 2015
The IRS faced challenges from last year’s tax season due to many expiring tax provisions, fraudulent refund claims, and reduced telephone assistance hours among other issues. As of May 2015, the IRS had received over 137 million tax returns which was approximately 1 million tax returns more than were filed during the same period last year.  The majority of taxpayers, 120 million, filed their returns electronically, which increased from 117 million in 2014.  In addition, the IRS issued over 100 million tax refunds that equaled an average of $270 billion.  The year before, the IRS issued approximately 101 million tax refunds that equaled approximately $272 billion.  The data found that refunds increased marginally from $2,693 to $2,701 from 2014 to 2015, respectively.

The IRS identified over 163,000 tax returns since May 2015 that claimed over $908 million in fraudulent tax refunds. The IRS increased its efforts to identify fraudulent refund claims before any payment got processed.

In addition, the IRS is offering additional options for self-assistance that can be accessed at any time. The IRS created the IRS2Go mobile application as well as social media applications to assist taxpayers. These include YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumbler. Up until May 2015, the IRS website (www.irs.gov) had nearly 330 million visits. Since the end of April 2015 nearly 950,000 taxpayers viewed the IRS YouTube videos and there was an increase (24%) in IRS Twitter followers.  On the other hand, the IRS faced a major decrease in the number of taxpayers that received customer service assistance from the IRS’s toll-free telephone lines. 

Taxpayers waited an average of 23.5 minutes to speak to an IRS representative. The year before taxpayers waited an average of 14.4 minutes to speak to an IRS representative.
To combat tax fraud, the IRS has limited the number of direct deposits that can be linked to a single bank account.  For example, during the 2014 filing season, the IRS deposited refunds in 36,337 accounts, and over 9,600 of those were associated with over 7,700 paid tax return preparers. This number decreased dramatically last year.

The Strategic Tax Lawyers, LLP are a firm of established Estate Tax Lawyers, Offshore Tax Lawyer, and an Intent to Levy Lawyer. We, at the Strategic Tax Lawyers Firm, are experts in the IRS tax code with years of experience dealing with tax-related matters.  Call the Strategic Tax Lawyers at (800) 669-4775 for a free consultation to assist you with your case.