IRS watchdog warns of scaled-back service in agency plans

WASHINGTON (AP) The official IRS watchdog is warning that the agency may soon dramatically scale back telephone and face-to-face service as part of a plan that would focus more on online accounts for taxpayers seeking help.

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson says in an annual report to Congress that the IRS should be more open about its plans. She says the service cutbacks may mean that more people may have to turn to tax preparers and to software such as TurboTax to file their returns.

That would increase tax compliance costs for millions of filers.

Olson says millions of taxpayers don't go on the Internet and millions more are reluctant to share sensitive information online, as envisioned by an IRS plan for future operations.

Supplied by: Acquire Media

HLO Notes: What does this mean for taxpayers? Longer telephone hold and in office wait times (in locations continuing to maintain field offices) with no sign of relief in sight. But make no mistake, the levies and garnishments will continue.