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February 19, 2014
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Revenooer Rants: We’re just so overworked!

And so the IRS bleats, as they proffer excuses to taxpayers and their dissatisfied advisers regarding reasons why the Revenooers are either unavailable to help out and/or just plain unable to do so.

Just check out the contents of their recently-published memo entitled, “Some IRS Assistance and Taxpayer Services Shift to Automated Resources,” which explains that due to “shifting taxpayer demands,” and in consideration of “available resources,” they will be making a number of changes in the “taxpayer service” the deliver, starting right now. Consider some of these looming changes relative to:

Tax return preparation: No longer will they help you out with even the simplest return. If you need such assistance, get ready to be directed to “more than 13,000 volunteer partner sites across the country,” rather than limited services at the IRS’ 250 walk-in offices.

“Get Transcript” service: Let’s say you have a question about your account with the blokes, like whether they properly credited you with all those estimated tax payments you made, or wonder why they may have slapped you with some penalty or other. Don’t bother calling, but instead go online and avail yourself of the new “Get Transcript” service, which purports to allow you to instantly view and print a copy of your account record. This tool will be available for five types of transcripts: tax account, tax return, record of account, wage and income, and verification of non-filing.

Tax law assistance: Here’s a biggie; again, don’t bother calling. If you have a detailed tax law question, get ready for IRS to refer you to a number of other resources available on IRS.gov, IRS tax publications, and (we love this one) the software package which you may already be using for the preparation of your very own return! IRS observes that, “More than 90 percent of all taxpayers use tax return preparation software, either on their own or through their tax professional, and the tax law help is included as part of the software. Revenooer translation: God helps those who help themselves!

Tax refund inquiries: Pat the Revenooers on the back — they claim that in recent years, they have issued more than 90 percent of refunds in less than 21 days, so if you wonder about the return of your dough within 21 days of electronic filing, don’t call, but go to the IRS website and check out the “Where’s My Refund?” link. (By the way, it’s available in English and Spanish.) IRS “customer service representatives” will only be available to you if it’s been 21 days or more since you e-filed, or more than six weeks since you may have filed in paper form.

Isn’t technology wonderful?

CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISER – This article contains general information about various tax matters. You should consult your CPA regarding the implications to your own particular situation. Jeff Quinn is a shareholder in Ashley Quinn, CPAs and Consultants, Ltd., with offices in Incline Village and Reno. He can be reached at 831-7288, welcomes comments at jquinn@ashleyquinncpas.com, and invites readers to consider his other commentary at http://blog.nolo.com/taxes.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Feb 19, 2014 05:39PM Published Feb 19, 2014 02:54PM Copyright 2014 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.