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Taxpayers biggest losers in IRS budget cuts

When most Connecticut residents think about what the phrase good customer service means words like available, helpful, friendly and accommodating may come to mind. For most taxpayers, these types of adjectives and the phrase good customer service likely do not come to mind when thinking about the Internal Revenue Service. More often, words like unhelpful, rude, uncooperative and obstinate spring to mind when discussing the IRS and the agency's take on customer service.

Of course, given the IRS' mission of essentially stripping Americans of their money, it's no big surprise that the agency isn't winning many popularity awards. Despite the agency's unpopularity, part of its mission statement centers on providing "America's taxpayers with quality service by helping them understand the meet their tax responsibilities."

In recent years, the IRS has fallen woefully short of meeting this mission as it struggles to deal with deep budget cuts. The agency's long been a target of Republican politicians, many of whom have openly pledged their support of dissolving the IRS altogether. While the IRS is an easy target for those hoping to garner public support and bolster their own political aspirations, in the end it's ultimately taxpayers who ends up being punished.

Years of searing budget cuts have resulted in the agency being forced to reduce its workforce and attempt to operate on a bare-bones budget. As a result, the questions and requests of taxpayers are going unanswered. Consequently, taxpayers are growing increasingly frustrated and disgruntled. After all, not only is an individual forced to pay taxes, but now he or she must also attempt to do so without the help or guidance of the agency that has made helping taxpayers part of its core mission.

Given the abysmal state of the IRS and the agency's lack of taxpayer services, more taxpayers are likely to make mistakes and fail to comply with tax regulations and laws. For individuals who learn they are the subject of an IRS investigation or audit, it's important to contact an attorney who can help deal with the IRS and advocate on one's behalf.

Source: Forbes, "Don't Bother Fixing The Tax Code Unless You Fix The IRS Too," Joseph Thorndike, Sept. 11, 2015

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