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Taxpayers Will Face a Difficult 2015 Filing Season

The Internal Revenue Service is unlikely to win an award as most popular federal agency. No one enjoys seeing a portion of their earnings taken away due to the tax laws. Many may characterize interactions with the agency as "miserable," However, one does not expect that characterization to come from the IRS Commissioner.

He noted that, despite the best efforts of the IRS, the 2015 tax filing season is likely to be miserable. The IRS' budget has been cut substantially, with the House voting a $341 million reduction in funding. The Senate did support an increase, but that increase would still result in a 7 percent reduction from the 2010 budget.

This means the agency will be doing more with less. Taxpayers with potential tax issues may want to carefully discuss any potential complications or questionable issues with their tax attorney prior to filing.

There will be no shortage of issues that could create tax disputes, especially with the implementation of two provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Taxpayers may be confused with issues related to the premium tax credit and the individual shared responsibility payment.

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson also worries about continuing issues caused by the new withholding requirement from the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

The effects of the new voluntary oversight program for return preparers could also complicate tax filing this year.

The sheer complexity of the tax code itself also remains a problem. There are more than 50 tax breaks that Congress failed to extend last year, and may or may not reauthorize before the end of this year.

Forbes.com, "IRS Commissioner Predicts Miserable 2015 Tax Filing Season," Ashlea Ebeling, November 4, 2014

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