America is in a tax crisis that National Tax Expert Stuart “Stu” Sobel says President-Elect Donald Trump and Congress must address. However, that crisis has nothing to do with the rates taxpayers and businesses pay each year. Sobel says the crisis stems from the fact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) no longer provides adequate personalized service.
Sobel worked at the IRS for 30 years in examination and high level positions and for 20 years in private practice. He says the IRS no longer has the resources to answer questions or the answers to help people, thanks to years of cutbacks and poor employee training. He says the next President and Congress need to address this core problem quickly.
“The IRS can be devastating,” Sobel says. “People can’t sleep at night because of getting an IRS letter. There’s a crisis where they can’t get the help they deserve and need. It’s so confusing and it’s not going to get simpler.”
Sobel says Congress and the new President will need to act to address the tax crisis and give the IRS the financial and educational resources it needs to once again provide quality, reliable service.
“I heard about a celebration at the IRS in recent years where they were marking an 80 percent correct answer rate for taxpayer questions,” says Sobel. “That means 20 percent of the time; they gave out wrong information to taxpayers. That’s nothing to celebrate. Would you fly an airline if it landed properly 80 percent of the time?”
There’s more to the problem
Sobel says there is also a problem with the tax practitioners who many Americans trust to be their tax experts. He says there are too many “historians”, tax preparers who only know how to prepare last year’s return. Taxpayers need competent help with dealing with the Internal Revenue Service in tax controversy situations and most importantly with tax planning for the future.
“Tax planning is fire prevention and tax preparation is arson investigation,” Sobel says.
Until the tax crisis is resolved, Sobel says taxpayers have to be able to research and answer their own questions.
“They need to put in a little sweat equity and learn to solve their own tax problems.”
Stuart “Stu” Sobel is the founder and president of Carmel, Indiana-based Tax Media Network, Inc. which provides educational tax programs for tax professionals and nonprofit leaders around the world. This icon has more than 50 years of tax wisdom and experience. He is a former nationally-syndicated radio host and has helped create thousands of businesses and nonprofit organizations worldwide. Sobel’s books and videos are available through his online store, www.taxmediastore.com and other retailers. More information about Tax Media Network and Sobel is available at www.taxmedianetwork.com.