January 29, 2014

Some IRS Assistance and Taxpayer Services Shift to Automated Resources

Given available resources and shifting taxpayer demands, the IRS will be making a number of taxpayer service changes for the 2014 filing season.

The changes, which were made following input from stakeholders in the tax community, reflect the need for increased use of automated self-service options. With limited resources to support person-to-person services on the phone or at Taxpayer Assistance Centers, the IRS is emphasizing services, such as those found on IRS.gov, to help meet a number of taxpayer needs. This approach will free up IRS assistors on the phone or in person to help with issues that cannot be resolved through other avenues, such as issues involving identity theft.

Each year, the IRS balances anticipated customer service needs against available resources to determine the right mix of technology, employees and IRS partner-provided assistance  to meet these needs in the most effective and efficient way. The changes for filing season 2014 affect these areas:

  • Tax Return Preparation
  • Transcript delivery
  • Tax Law Assistance
  • Tax Refund Inquiries
  • Employer Identification Number
  • Practitioner Priority Service

Taxpayers should find these automated services easy to use and convenient. Many are available 24 hours and seven days a week.

Tax Return Preparation

Due to resource constraints, fewer tax returns have been prepared at IRS walk-in offices in recent years. For several years, return preparation has only been available in a limited format – only offered at some IRS offices and not every day of the week at some locations. In addition, taxpayers had to have income below the Earned Income Tax Credit thresholds to receive this assistance.

With the growth in electronic tax preparation and continued resource limitations, the IRS will be directing qualified taxpayers during the upcoming filing season to more than 13,000 volunteer partner sites across the country rather than limited services at the IRS’s 250 walk-in offices. The IRS will refer taxpayers who visit the walk-in offices for tax preparation to the nearest volunteer site for tax return preparation.

In addition, the IRS Free File program on IRS.gov offers free e-file and tax software to help taxpayers prepare their returns.

New “Get Transcript” Service

Early in 2014, a new online request option called “Get Transcript” on IRS.gov will allow individual taxpayers with an SSN to instantly view and print a copy of their tax transcripts. With Get Transcript, taxpayers will save both time and effort. When the new service is available, transcript requests will generally be referred to the online tool. Taxpayers will be able to use the tool to authenticate, view and print copies of their transcript in one session. Taxpayers will still also be able to request that a transcript be mailed to their address of record by using the existing online tool or sending in Form 4506T.



About Wendroff & Associates, CPA

Located in Arlington, Virginia Wendroff & Associates, LLC is a full service accounting firm, specializing in Tax Strategy, CFO Consulting, QuickBooks Training and Outsourced Accounting. The firm prides itself on its technological advantage and innovative company culture to provide better service to its clients and partners to help them grow their business or organization and reach their professional goals. Wendroff & Associates, CPA provides smart financial solutions and thinks of its clients throughout the year, not just at tax time. For more information on Wendroff & Associates, CPA visit www.wendroffcpa.com.

Wendroff & Associates Media Contact:
Brian Wendroff
Managing Partner

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