Staffing shortages and other personnel-related problems continue to be a “serious underlying issue that impacts all 10” of the most significant management challenges facing the IRS, an IG report has said, adding that “it is likely that the IRS will continue to face these staffing issues” through the current fiscal year.
“Between fiscal years 2014 and 2018, the IRS budget increased slightly from $11.2 billion to $11.4 billion. However, cost increases over this time period have resulted in a significant reduction in the number of full-time employees, with a corresponding impact on institutional knowledge and technical expertise,” it says, adding that “this trend of reduced staffing has affected the IRS’s ability to deliver its priority program areas, including customer service and enforcement activities.”
The impact also is felt on other major challenges including improving efficiency, modernizing systems and business processes, combatting falsely filed tax forms claiming refunds and other fraud, improving tax reporting and payment compliance, protecting taxpayers’ rights, and carrying out the significant changes in tax law enacted in late 2017, it said.
Meanwhile, it noted that “In the last several years, threats directed at the IRS have remained the second largest component” of the IG’s office of investigations work. “Recent incidents involving taxpayers who threatened or assaulted IRS employees underscore the dangers that these employees face each day.”