IRS Service Centers Closing

The IRS has announced the closing of 68 of their 400 walk-in service centers nationwide. The IRS claims that visits to their help centers have declined by 19% over that past two years, while phone support has grown by 7% and traffic to the IRS website has more than doubled. This cost-cutting move has, however, been criticized for putting an unnecessary financial burden on eldery and low income taxpayers, many of whom don’t have access to online assistance, and may now have to seek professional tax prep help. So what does this mean for you? Probably the biggest thing is that there are now fewer places to go to get inaccurate information on how to file your taxes.

2 Responses to “IRS Service Centers Closing”

  1. Anonymous

    It’s not just some anonymous “many people feel like it’s happened”…the government’s own internal auditing procedures document that it happens regularly.

    Simplifying the tax process would help a lot. So, for that matter, would enabling taxpayers to e-file their own returns, instead of requiring them to either use a professional preparation service or go back to paper.

    But staffing walk-in facilities has always seemed to me like a waste of time and money…even people who aren’t online yet can get the same “help” by calling on the phone…and even the most technologically backward elderly folks have telephones. They can probably wait more comfortably sitting on their living room sofa listening to on-hold music than standing in line at a government office, too.

  2. Anonymous

    I have got vague information on the only time I visited the Boston office, so your comment on “inaccurate” information may be well founded (if many people feel like it has happened also).

    As for the elderly that don’t have access to the internet… Don’t worry, that problem will go away. Eventually elderly will die, and the next generation of elderly people will have access to the internet.

    I am all in favor of a simpler taxation system. But if you can’t make it simple, at least make it electronic, so that it looks simple, and it doesn’t waste about $800 per return just to manage it.

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