I’m not a big fan of the Internal Revenue Service, though I try to make sure that politicians get much of the blame for America’s convoluted, punitive, and unfair tax code.
But there is an office at the IRS that ostensibly exists to defend the interests of taxpayers. The Taxpayer Advocate Service, according to the government website, “an independent organization within the IRS and helps taxpayers resolve problems with the IRS and recommend changes that will prevent the problems.” The head of this office, Nina Olson, has the title of National Taxpayer Advocate.
Sounds good, right?
Well, not so fast. The TAS does some good things, but Ms. Olson spends at least part of her time advocating for the government.
Among the other problems Olson identifies in the report are…the underfunding of the Internal Revenue Service… The IRS, which Olson compares to the accounts receivable department of a company, should be fenced off from more budget cuts by Congress, she writes in the report.
Don’t rub your eyes or clean your glasses. You read correctly. The folks at the IRS who supposedly are advocating for you are instead advocating for a bigger IRS budget.