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IRS Urges ‘Extra Caution’ This Year, Boosting Business for TaxRise, Others
Despite last year being the “most challenging year taxpayers and tax professionals have ever experienced,” according to the Taxpayer Advocate Service, 2022 might bring even more problems for Americans trying to file their taxes.
The Internal Revenue Service started this year’s tax season by urging taxpayers to take “extra precautions” when filing their returns. Taxpayers need to “take special care” in 2022 because of several critical tax law changes that took place in 2021 and ongoing challenges related to the pandemic, IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in the press release.
The combination of more complicated tax rules and an increased risk of audits is motivating more people to seek out help with their filing, among both professional services and community services, said Essam Abdullah, CEO of TaxRise Inc., a tax-resolution company based in Southern California.
“Although we’ve been growing steadily over the last few years, we’ve definitely seen an uptick in interest in our services this tax season,” Abdullah said. “Last year was really tough for a lot of people. They’re looking for a way to reduce stress while still taking care of business, and we help them do that.”
Getting professional help with taxes should be a priority this year for small business owners, the self-employed, or those who did any investing, but especially in crypto currencies, Consumer Reports said.
Diana Sabari, who runs an income tax preparation franchise in Manhattan, said in the article that she’s seeing more requests for help because her clients are “just so scared. It becomes chaos, the back and forth with the IRS. And they usually end up paying money that they didn’t need to.”
As EconoTimes reported in February, the IRS’s own annual report found many problems over the last year, including
Many taxpayers having difficulty reaching the IRS
Tax returns saw months-long delays
About a quarter of refunds weren’t sent until 2022
Collection notices were sent out even after the tax owed was paid
Both the IRS and The White House claim to be working on solutions for the agency’s problems. President Joe Biden wants to add $80 billion in agency funding, and the tax agency announced plans in March 2022 to hire 10,000 new auditors to address a huge backlog of taxpayer audits — no experience needed.
There are other reasons for the IRS’ woes as well, however. While part of the blame can be given to the pandemic, there’s also years of underfunding, antiquated computer systems and a dwindling workforce.
Among those filing taxes, many have experienced big changes in their lives over the last few years, Abdullah of TaxRise Inc. said. That could mean receiving unemployment for the first time, working multiple jobs, or receiving a stimulus check from the government.
Millions of Americans are facing greater confusion and uncertainty about their tax filing than ever before, Abdullah said.
“We’ve heard from a few people who went to free or low-cost options for tax help, and ended up coming to us because the community services weren’t sufficient for their needs,” Abdullah said. “Part of the increasing popularity of services like TaxRise is that we can help carry a burden — and we do a really good job of resolving tax problems.”
That’s what happened to the Bronx couple interviewed by Consumer Reports. They visited a “low-fee pop-up shop in their neighborhood” with a tax preparer who ultimately “didn’t inspire much confidence.”
“We’re not going to hire any old body who’s just been trained for the season,” Tashiana Diaz said in the article. “This year we have to make sure the person we hire knows their stuff.”
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes