IRS Budget Cuts: Yay or Nay?
This week, President Trump announced his intended plans for the upcoming fiscal budget. While many aspects of the budget remain relatively un-noteworthy, there is one area that has been causing quite a bit of stir – the IRS budget cuts.
In his budget blueprint announcement, Trump indicated his intention to slash the IRS budget by a whopping $239 million – enough cash to take a family of four to Disneyland for a week – but we digress. Job cuts are anticipated, too, with savings being put towards an increased defense budget.
While this news certainly appeals to many American citizens, we’re going to ponder a mind-boggling question: Is cutting the IRS budget actually a positive thing?
Let’s do some investigating.
For many Americans, simply hearing the acronym IRS sends shivers down their spines. The IRS, after all, is known for terrifying individuals who have made errors on their taxes, or neglected to pay them altogether.
No matter your reason for wanting to avoid the IRS, the mere notion you don’t have to worry about the taxman gaining strength is perceived as a good thing.
In addition to this, there are many individuals who believe the IRS is already overpaid, overstaffed and overutilized. After all, the annual budget for this government service is over $11 billion[i] – a considerable amount of cash spent for the purpose of collecting money.
Historically, though the IRS has certainly had its fair share of negative press, it has been undergoing a great deal of changes over the past few years. Last year, for example, the IRS suffered a budget cut of 17%, in addition to a 14% reduction in staff.[ii]
To some, while cutting the IRS budget may not seem like a bad thing, there are some snafus.
With fewer staff to take incoming calls, wait times to speak to an agent have dramatically increased. In 2014, for example, the average wait time had increased to 17 minutes, up from 10.8 minutes a few years prior.[iii] When you’re anxious to speak to someone about your taxes, this can feel more painful that watching paint dry.
What’s more important, however, are the financial repercussions of cutting the IRS budget.
When a budget is cut and staffing has been decreased, this ultimately means there are less bodies working to recoup unpaid taxes. When money that is legally owed to the government is lost, this means – you guessed it – the money has to come from somewhere else.
So, not only is the IRS unable to meet the basic service needs of taxpayers, but the lack of revenue is going to be felt through increasing the costs of other services, too.
Even the IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen, stated “essentially, the government is forgoing billions to achieve budget savings of a few hundred million dollars.”
Coming from someone with inside knowledge of the agency – and concerns from the public - this speaks volumes.
Alas, while this may not be the ending you were hoping for, the stats don’t lie. The truth is, Trump’s cuts to the IRS budget are only going to cause you increased stress and frustration.
The good news is, Travis W. Watkins Tax Resolution and Accounting Firm can help. We are a proud, local tax resolution agency by Oklahomans, for Oklahomans.
Now, more than ever, you need IRS tax professionals that can help you get the tax resolution you deserve - as stress-free and quickly as possible.
Contact Travis Watkins Tax at 405-607-1192 in OKC or 918-877-2794 in Tulsa and relieve your tax burden - today!