Tax Notes’ Update on Tax Season: Tax Practitioners Look To Each Other For Help Over IRS

According to a recent Tax Notes article, tax practitioners have stopped calling the IRS as much as in previous years because “phone assisters are undertrained, wait times for help are too long, and tax law guidance and administrative instructions are delayed.” According to the article, this is partly to blame on undermanning at the IRS due to attrition and continued funding decreases. In response, the article says that many accountants and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)  programs have turned to other practitioners and groups for help answering their questions. On the plus side, the article notes that most tax practitioners have viewed this season as fairly uneventful and report receiving fewer questions from clients than expected about the new tax law. Nevertheless, the article states that the continuing lack of IRS guidance has been problematic, quoting one individual associated with VITA centers as stating that the tax law was “really rushed, and there wasn’t a whole lot of thought behind it…There are a lot of questions, but not a lot of clear answers coming through.” William Hoffman, Tax Pros Relying on Own Resources in Lieu of IRS for Filing Season, 158 Tax Notes 1690  (Mar. 19, 2018).