LA MIRADA, CA / ACCESSWIRE / October 12, 2021 / The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is one of the most important agencies within the US federal government since its work generates the funds that allow the administrations to operate and provide US citizens with essential services. As IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig noted before the Senate Finance Committee in June, the taxes collected by the agency amounted to $3.56 trillion in fiscal 2019, which supplied nearly 96% of the funding for the federal government's operations.
'While people love to hate the taxman, they know deep down that the IRS is a pillar of the state and deem it their civic duty to contribute a fair share to the public coffers,' says Philip L. Liberatore, CPA, a California-based provider of accounting, tax, and financial management services. 'However, the agency has long been struggling with staffing and technology issues, which have been further aggravated by the pandemic. The IRS has been fighting an uphill battle given its steady budget decline and workforce depletion over the past decade. In a renewed push to address long-standing problems and narrow the tax gap for the benefit of the entire nation, the agency is negotiating an increase in its budget and planning a recruitment drive that will replenish its workforce as well as bring in much-needed talent.'
Under the administration's 2022 discretionary budget proposal, the IRS would receive $13.2 billion, representing a 10.4% increase compared to 2021. The plan also includes a $417 million allocation for 'investments in expanding and improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the IRS's overall tax enforcement program,' which would bring the total 2022 funding to $13.6 billion, Philip L. Liberatore, CPA explains. The plan provides for an annual budgetary hike of approximately 10% over the next 10 years, as well as an up to 15% annual increase in the agency's personnel within that timeframe. According to Commissioner Rettig, securing the proposed funding would allow the IRS to make long-term investments to boost its workforce, attract talent, and upgrade its woefully outdated IT systems.
'The IRS has already developed a plan to address its staffing problems and is counting on Congress to approve the budget increase so that the agency can effectively address its legacy issues,' comments Philip Liberatore, founder and president of Philip L. Liberatore, CPA. 'The IRS is also seeking greater direct hiring authority, which would facilitate recruitment and attract people with in-demand skills. In an interim report, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said that, as of March 2021, the IRS had nearly 4,500 processing positions waiting to be filled, with aging office equipment also affecting the pace of work. The need for a substantial overhaul of the agency's IT systems has been the subject of numerous reports, contradicting statements from some policymakers that technology has improved the efficiency of the IRS in recent years.'
The need for technological upgrades along with workforce expansion was noted by Commissioner Rettig during his remarks at the Senate Finance Committee hearing in June. The IRS head said, 'Multiyear, consistent, timely, and adequate funding helps us deliver meaningful services to taxpayers, conduct critical enforcement initiatives, and support long-term IT modernization efforts that help improve compliance. Greater investment in technology can help us properly assist compliant taxpayers. Modernization of our systems coupled with technological advances in artificial intelligence, data, and analytics will continue to enhance services to compliant taxpayers and make tax avoidance by others more visible and more difficult.'
Philip L. Liberatore, CPA is an accounting firm that offers financial advisory support and guidance to companies of all sizes and individuals. Prioritizing personalized care and operating in compliance with the highest professional standards, Philip L. Liberatore, CPA has built a loyal customer base by adhering to principles such as accuracy, timeliness, consistency, and integrity. The company was founded in 1988 by Philip Liberatore, an entrepreneur and a CPA with more than three decades of experience in accounting and finance.
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