Tax laws often change, but the U.S. tax code hasn't seen a major overhaul in about 28 years. From business owners to wage earners, everyone who has paid taxes knows the process can be extremely complicated. In a rare comment on tax law, John Koskinen, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, has recommended simplifying the tax code in a number of ways.
In particular, the commissioner called for simplification of the alternative minimum tax, or AMT, and more clarification regarding taxes paid by U.S. companies doing business outside of the country.
Commissioner Koskinen went on to say that reforming policies related to exemptions, credits and deductions should be done all at once in order to expedite a major overhaul.
It remains to be seen whether Congress acts on the commissioner's recommendation.
As of April 1, the Internal Revenue Service, having received about 90 million tax returns, had already paid out $207 billion in refunds. Since the filing season started, the IRS has indicated that wait times would be long for taxpayer assistance, and that has proven to be the case. However, wait times haven't been as long as those last year, when more tax law changes were implemented.
If you find yourself in a tax dispute with the IRS, it is important that you take legal action to protect yourself. Do not ignore a notice from the IRS or the state. Doing so could result in penalties and the loss of your rights. An attorney with experience in the many facets of tax law can help clarify your legal options and establish a plan of action.
Source: USA Today, "Even the IRS chief says tax code is too complex," Gregory Korte, April 3, 2014