Does the IRS have a problem, really? | New NY 23rd

U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, said in his weekly press call Tuesday that he and his fellow Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee will put forward legislation to address long call hold times with the IRS as volume ramps up due to next month’s deadline.

“The average wait time,” Reed said, “just to make a payment — is 46 minutes.”

To make a payment, one need only put a check in the mail. What can Tom Reed be thinking?

The IRS is responsible for collecting taxes. Lately, it has been shortchanged on funding. Every dollar invested in collections results in many dollars returned to the Treasury. What else did Tom Reed say?

He (Reed) also cited the agency’s use of FORTRAN, a programming language dating back to the 1950s run on mainframe computers, most using the standard created in 1977. “The IRS,” Reed said, “is using obsolete tools. … At the end of the day, when someone takes the initiative to pick up the phone and call the IRS, we owe it to them.”

Yes, Fortran is a legacy programming language, but users wouldn’t know or care what programming language is used for IRS applications. Fortran experts are in short supply these days, legacy Fortran code is hard to maintain, perhaps IRS systems should be rewritten, but that is an expensive undertaking. Will Congress appropriate needed funds? Don’t hold your breath.

Changes to the tax code implemented earlier this year won’t take effect for returns due April 15, Reed said, which will eventually lead to simpler returns.

Nonsense–there is nothing in the 2018 reforms that makes the tax code simpler. Filing may be easier after 2019 as more choose to use the standard deduction.

“We’ve had multiple oversight hearings directly with the IRS,” Reed said, and there is bipartisan support for pushing the agency into a “more of a service-based agency than a ‘Gotcha’-type agency.”

What does that mean? Would Tom Reed have the IRS not focus on collecting taxes due, which is its purpose?

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