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(TaxProf)   IRS now seven years late in providing taxpayers online access as required by law, but c'mon - those dangerous right-wing groups of four guys who think Hillary had Vince Foster beamed up by a UFO aren't going to investigate themselves   (taxprof.typepad.com) divider line 37
    More: Fail, IRS, right-wing, taxpayers, Reform Act  
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577 clicks; posted to Politics » on 05 Dec 2013 at 8:20 AM (46 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



37 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-12-05 08:23:55 AM  
That's some pretty solid governmenting there.  Invent the internet, forget how to use it.
 
2013-12-05 08:24:42 AM  
Where's the precedent? It's not like the most prominent and presidential Republican its delegates could pick in 2012 was a shameless tax cheat or anything, right?
 
2013-12-05 08:25:43 AM  
i.imgur.com


Honestly, I'm amazed the government works as well as it does after 30 years of 'starve the beast.'
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-12-05 08:31:27 AM  
Four guys?  That's the whole GOP.
 
2013-12-05 08:36:42 AM  

DubtodaIll: That's some pretty solid governmenting there.  Invent the internet, forget how to use it.


A new website?  I can't imagine anything going wrong there.

They can't verify Identity?  Amazon nad banks seem to do a pretty good job of it.
 
2013-12-05 08:43:46 AM  
is this the same thing that TurboTax and HR Block have been lobbying furiously to block?
 
2013-12-05 08:49:25 AM  

TheGogmagog: nad banks

 
2013-12-05 08:49:37 AM  

Jackson Herring: is this the same thing that TurboTax and HR Block have been lobbying furiously to block?


I think that's a different issue. NPR did a story on it a while ago. That's the thing where they've been fighting tooth and nail against "tax bills" where you could just let the IRS do the taxes for you and send a bill based on the documentation it already gets and uses to check your return anyway.

It's very profitable to be the useless middleman if you have the money to buy the rules you need to keep from getting cut out.
 
2013-12-05 08:50:44 AM  
Well, that's it then.  The IRS can't get a website to work, just shut.it.all.down.

sound familiar?
 
2013-12-05 08:52:59 AM  

skozlaw: Jackson Herring: is this the same thing that TurboTax and HR Block have been lobbying furiously to block?

I think that's a different issue. NPR did a story on it a while ago. That's the thing where they've been fighting tooth and nail against "tax bills" where you could just let the IRS do the taxes for you and send a bill based on the documentation it already gets and uses to check your return anyway.

It's very profitable to be the useless middleman if you have the money to buy the rules you need to keep from getting cut out.


We're all about the useless middlemen in the US. If the TurboTax and HR Blocks of the world actually added any value they wouldn't need to fight these things.

You should be able to log in to the IRS site and file your taxes without spending a penny.
 
2013-12-05 08:54:10 AM  

skozlaw: just let the IRS do the taxes for you


What could possibly go wrong?
 
2013-12-05 08:56:20 AM  

dr_blasto: skozlaw: Jackson Herring: is this the same thing that TurboTax and HR Block have been lobbying furiously to block?

I think that's a different issue. NPR did a story on it a while ago. That's the thing where they've been fighting tooth and nail against "tax bills" where you could just let the IRS do the taxes for you and send a bill based on the documentation it already gets and uses to check your return anyway.

It's very profitable to be the useless middleman if you have the money to buy the rules you need to keep from getting cut out.

We're all about the useless middlemen in the US. If the TurboTax and HR Blocks of the world actually added any value they wouldn't need to fight these things.

You should be able to log in to the IRS site and file your taxes without spending a penny.


You can:  http://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free
 
2013-12-05 08:56:57 AM  

The_Six_Fingered_Man: dr_blasto: skozlaw: Jackson Herring: is this the same thing that TurboTax and HR Block have been lobbying furiously to block?

I think that's a different issue. NPR did a story on it a while ago. That's the thing where they've been fighting tooth and nail against "tax bills" where you could just let the IRS do the taxes for you and send a bill based on the documentation it already gets and uses to check your return anyway.

It's very profitable to be the useless middleman if you have the money to buy the rules you need to keep from getting cut out.

We're all about the useless middlemen in the US. If the TurboTax and HR Blocks of the world actually added any value they wouldn't need to fight these things.

You should be able to log in to the IRS site and file your taxes without spending a penny.

You can:  http://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free


I should say that this service comes with a caveat that you be under a certain threshold of income.
 
2013-12-05 08:57:14 AM  

flucto: skozlaw: just let the IRS do the taxes for you

What could possibly go wrong?


Government might not fail hard enough for your delusional worldview to hold valid?
 
2013-12-05 09:03:51 AM  

kronicfeld: TheGogmagog: nad banks

www.environicsanalytics.ca

 
2013-12-05 09:06:03 AM  

The_Six_Fingered_Man: The_Six_Fingered_Man: dr_blasto: skozlaw: Jackson Herring: is this the same thing that TurboTax and HR Block have been lobbying furiously to block?

I think that's a different issue. NPR did a story on it a while ago. That's the thing where they've been fighting tooth and nail against "tax bills" where you could just let the IRS do the taxes for you and send a bill based on the documentation it already gets and uses to check your return anyway.

It's very profitable to be the useless middleman if you have the money to buy the rules you need to keep from getting cut out.

We're all about the useless middlemen in the US. If the TurboTax and HR Blocks of the world actually added any value they wouldn't need to fight these things.

You should be able to log in to the IRS site and file your taxes without spending a penny.

You can:  http://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free

I should say that this service comes with a caveat that you be under a certain threshold of income.


Yeah. Anything over 1040ez levels requires an intermediary.

Or snail mail. Both constraints are absurd.
 
2013-12-05 09:10:12 AM  

Jackson Herring: is this the same thing that TurboTax and HR Block have been lobbying furiously to block?


Yes.
 
2013-12-05 09:10:48 AM  

skozlaw: Jackson Herring: is this the same thing that TurboTax and HR Block have been lobbying furiously to block?

I think that's a different issue. NPR did a story on it a while ago. That's the thing where they've been fighting tooth and nail against "tax bills" where you could just let the IRS do the taxes for you and send a bill based on the documentation it already gets and uses to check your return anyway.

It's very profitable to be the useless middleman if you have the money to buy the rules you need to keep from getting cut out.


Are you saying that middlemen do not take kindly to being eliminated?
 
2013-12-05 09:13:24 AM  

dr_blasto: The_Six_Fingered_Man: The_Six_Fingered_Man: dr_blasto: skozlaw: Jackson Herring: is this the same thing that TurboTax and HR Block have been lobbying furiously to block?

I think that's a different issue. NPR did a story on it a while ago. That's the thing where they've been fighting tooth and nail against "tax bills" where you could just let the IRS do the taxes for you and send a bill based on the documentation it already gets and uses to check your return anyway.

It's very profitable to be the useless middleman if you have the money to buy the rules you need to keep from getting cut out.

We're all about the useless middlemen in the US. If the TurboTax and HR Blocks of the world actually added any value they wouldn't need to fight these things.

You should be able to log in to the IRS site and file your taxes without spending a penny.

You can:  http://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free

I should say that this service comes with a caveat that you be under a certain threshold of income.

Yeah. Anything over 1040ez levels requires an intermediary.

Or snail mail. Both constraints are absurd.


Listen, I agree with you, and I'm a tax professional. There should be no reason that you should have to pay someone to do your taxes if you are comfortable enough to prepare them on your own. You should also be permitted to file them electronically without charge, especially since the IRS is seriously pushing e-file on the country.

On the other hand, the tax professional lobby is strong. When you have companies like Intuit and H&R, coupled with powerful professional associations like the NAEA and AICPA, very little is going to be done.

Now, I don't particularly care for the "we'll send you a pre-filled return that you can sign and send in" approach, simply because the IRS' information is often wrong. They don't account for deductions that a good number of Americans have. Sure, they can pull the mortgage interest from the 1098, but they aren't pulling the associated property taxes. They can pull the sales proceeds of a long held stock, but they don't have the cost basis. Only recently has cost basis on stocks been reported to the IRS and only on stocks purchased after January 1, 2011.

They don't account for 60 day rollovers of IRA distributions and since the code is usually a normal or early distribution, they'll assess tax on the pre-filled form. It's a nightmare scenario for a good number of taxpayers and it won't be a viable option for anyone that is filing anything more complicated than a 1040-EZ for a long time, simply because of all the information that they  don't automatically get.
 
2013-12-05 09:14:21 AM  

RexTalionis: Jackson Herring: is this the same thing that TurboTax and HR Block have been lobbying furiously to block?

Yes.


No, it's not. H&R and Intuit have not been blocking the "view my account information online" program. They have been crowing about the pre-filled return initiative, and for good reasons that I stated above.
 
2013-12-05 09:15:02 AM  
DubtodaIll: That's some pretty solid governmenting there.  Invent the internet, forget how to use it.
 
A new website?  I can't imagine anything going wrong there.

They can't verify Identity?  Amazon nad banks seem to do a pretty good job of it.
 
2013-12-05 09:19:27 AM  

The_Six_Fingered_Man: dr_blasto: The_Six_Fingered_Man: The_Six_Fingered_Man: dr_blasto: skozlaw: Jackson Herring: is this the same thing that TurboTax and HR Block have been lobbying furiously to block?

I think that's a different issue. NPR did a story on it a while ago. That's the thing where they've been fighting tooth and nail against "tax bills" where you could just let the IRS do the taxes for you and send a bill based on the documentation it already gets and uses to check your return anyway.

It's very profitable to be the useless middleman if you have the money to buy the rules you need to keep from getting cut out.

We're all about the useless middlemen in the US. If the TurboTax and HR Blocks of the world actually added any value they wouldn't need to fight these things.

You should be able to log in to the IRS site and file your taxes without spending a penny.

You can:  http://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free

I should say that this service comes with a caveat that you be under a certain threshold of income.

Yeah. Anything over 1040ez levels requires an intermediary.

Or snail mail. Both constraints are absurd.

Listen, I agree with you, and I'm a tax professional. There should be no reason that you should have to pay someone to do your taxes if you are comfortable enough to prepare them on your own. You should also be permitted to file them electronically without charge, especially since the IRS is seriously pushing e-file on the country.

On the other hand, the tax professional lobby is strong. When you have companies like Intuit and H&R, coupled with powerful professional associations like the NAEA and AICPA, very little is going to be done.

Now, I don't particularly care for the "we'll send you a pre-filled return that you can sign and send in" approach, simply because the IRS' information is often wrong. They don't account for deductions that a good number of Americans have. Sure, they can pull the mortgage interest from the 1098, but they aren ...


The idea was that if you disagreed with their pre-filled in return, you'd still be able to file your own. They'd know you intended to self-file when it was not returned.
And their comp system is crap and their internal operating rules change weekly. Of course, they get things wrong.
 
2013-12-05 09:20:52 AM  
DubtodaIll: That's some pretty solid governmenting there.  Invent the internet, forget how to use it.
 
A new website?  I can't imagine anything going wrong there.

They can't verify Identity?  Amazon nad banks seem to do a pretty good job of it.


I actually had a guy tell me once that "you people don't know know how hard it is for working people." Sir, I am not a volunteer and if I wasn't a working person I wouldn't be talking to you. When I told him the IRS took my refund for underpaying the year before, he was shocked that the IRS treats its employees like taxpayers. Gasp! Maybe because they pay taxes too.
 
2013-12-05 09:28:40 AM  

DayeOfJustice: The idea was that if you disagreed with their pre-filled in return, you'd still be able to file your own. They'd know you intended to self-file when it was not returned.
And their comp system is crap and their internal operating rules change weekly. Of course, they get things wrong.


It's not so much that they get things wrong. I can understand that with the amount of data that they have to deal with. It's that their internal controls are horrendous for such a vital cog of the government. The managing partner at my firm teaches an auditing class at a small university in Ohio and his audit project for his students has been to audit the internal controls of the IRS. The failure rate for the main help line of the IRS is approximately 75%, meaning that, on average, the IRS agent on the other end of the line has provided incorrect information 75% of the time to the student callers.

And we're not talking about some complex tax questions either. The IRS fails at that rate for even the simplest of questions, such as "Can I deduct my lodging expenses for out of town medical care?"

To you, that might seem like a complicated question, since it may not have come up in your tax life. But for the IRS, that should be a quick "yes" answer. His students found that the agents told them "no" about 90% of the time. This is a line that is intended to provide assistance to taxpayers in preparing their returns. That's unconscionable.
 
2013-12-05 09:38:50 AM  

The_Six_Fingered_Man: dr_blasto: The_Six_Fingered_Man: The_Six_Fingered_Man: dr_blasto: skozlaw: Jackson Herring: is this the same thing that TurboTax and HR Block have been lobbying furiously to block?

I think that's a different issue. NPR did a story on it a while ago. That's the thing where they've been fighting tooth and nail against "tax bills" where you could just let the IRS do the taxes for you and send a bill based on the documentation it already gets and uses to check your return anyway.

It's very profitable to be the useless middleman if you have the money to buy the rules you need to keep from getting cut out.

We're all about the useless middlemen in the US. If the TurboTax and HR Blocks of the world actually added any value they wouldn't need to fight these things.

You should be able to log in to the IRS site and file your taxes without spending a penny.

You can:  http://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free

I should say that this service comes with a caveat that you be under a certain threshold of income.

Yeah. Anything over 1040ez levels requires an intermediary.

Or snail mail. Both constraints are absurd.

Listen, I agree with you, and I'm a tax professional. There should be no reason that you should have to pay someone to do your taxes if you are comfortable enough to prepare them on your own. You should also be permitted to file them electronically without charge, especially since the IRS is seriously pushing e-file on the country.

On the other hand, the tax professional lobby is strong. When you have companies like Intuit and H&R, coupled with powerful professional associations like the NAEA and AICPA, very little is going to be done.

Now, I don't particularly care for the "we'll send you a pre-filled return that you can sign and send in" approach, simply because the IRS' information is often wrong. They don't account for deductions that a good number of Americans have. Sure, they can pull the mortgage interest from the 1098, but they aren ...


That's the value added stuff, though, for a lot of people. H&R Block are notorious for not catching that stuff - since they're the McDonald's of the tax world, they get the equivalent tax preparers.

You should be able to input your tax information yourself in any case. IRS should direct deposit refund money without charge. If you have simple taxes that have only a single source of income and no real deductions, you should be able to just request IRS completion.
 
2013-12-05 09:43:31 AM  
The IRS' budget has been badly slashed even as its workload has increased massively. Republicans always create problems and then biatch when everyone else can't fix everything at once.
 
2013-12-05 09:48:28 AM  

The_Six_Fingered_Man: DayeOfJustice: The idea was that if you disagreed with their pre-filled in return, you'd still be able to file your own. They'd know you intended to self-file when it was not returned.
And their comp system is crap and their internal operating rules change weekly. Of course, they get things wrong.

It's not so much that they get things wrong. I can understand that with the amount of data that they have to deal with. It's that their internal controls are horrendous for such a vital cog of the government. The managing partner at my firm teaches an auditing class at a small university in Ohio and his audit project for his students has been to audit the internal controls of the IRS. The failure rate for the main help line of the IRS is approximately 75%, meaning that, on average, the IRS agent on the other end of the line has provided incorrect information 75% of the time to the student callers.

And we're not talking about some complex tax questions either. The IRS fails at that rate for even the simplest of questions, such as "Can I deduct my lodging expenses for out of town medical care?"

To you, that might seem like a complicated question, since it may not have come up in your tax life. But for the IRS, that should be a quick "yes" answer. His students found that the agents told them "no" about 90% of the time. This is a line that is intended to provide assistance to taxpayers in preparing their returns. That's unconscionable.


I was one of those IRS agents at the other end of  the phone and I can also say training is horrendous. It's rushed about three months to give you the basics. However, as I said the internal operating rules change weekly and we are told to look up the answer in a giant online manual called the IRM which reads like the unabomber wrote it. Then, you receive subsequent training for balance due or refunds or managing accounts. I tried to familiarize myself, on my own time, with tools I could use to actually help people because there's so much that even many higher ups are unaware of them.
Then again, some agents are just dicks. I had an old man crying to me once because someone said he had to give up most of his social security to the IRS (750 out of 900). I said no that was a lie and lowered his monthly payment to 150 and told him if he had any problems with the amount to call in and it could be adjusted lower if necessary. And I told him to call multiple times if necessary. It depends on who you get sometimes.
 
2013-12-05 10:04:15 AM  
Because they totally pulled the IT guys - who would be responsible for such a thing - off the case to focus them on conservative groups.

/Not that the IRS shouldn't be criticized for not delivering in 7 years, but linking the two is derptastic.
 
2013-12-05 10:26:47 AM  

flucto: What could possibly go wrong?


You could be too stupid to review it before paying it and get screwed over by your own incompetence and laziness by not filing a return of your own to correct any mistakes as would be your right.

Same as any other bill you've ever received throughout the entirety of your mortal existence.

Why do you ask?
 
2013-12-05 11:06:21 AM  
"Waaaahh! The IRS is the debbil and we hate taxes."

"Waaaahhh! Why won't the IRS let us pay out taxes??!!"
 
2013-12-05 11:18:05 AM  

captainktainer: Republicans always create problems and then biatch when everyone else can't fix everything at once.



believeinreason.com

Exhibit A
 
2013-12-05 11:47:40 AM  
Is the joke that none of those right wing groups were actually investigated and or denied their status?
 
2013-12-05 12:28:16 PM  
If government was tasked with building an Amazon or Kayak, the site would still not be built yet.
 
2013-12-05 02:54:41 PM  

SlothB77: If government was tasked with building an Amazon or Kayak, the site would still not be built yet.


Amazon has been around for 19 years. I'm fairly confident I could throw it together myself in that time frame.
 
2013-12-05 04:53:25 PM  

SlothB77: If government was tasked with building an Amazon or Kayak, the site would still not be built yet.


If Amazon had to open day one servicing 200 million accounts, Amazon wouldn't be open either.
 
2013-12-05 05:11:52 PM  

SlothB77: If government was tasked with building an Amazon or Kayak, GOP obstructionism would ensure the site would still not be built yet

, then blame it on the Deomocrats.

FTFY
 
2013-12-05 05:44:41 PM  

Neeek: SlothB77: If government was tasked with building an Amazon or Kayak, the site would still not be built yet.

If Amazon had to open day one servicing 200 million accounts while being sabotaged at every turn during development , Amazon wouldn't be open either.

 
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