IRS needs more staff to help tax filers

first_img“It cannot answer the phone calls it currently receives, much less the phone calls it can expect to receive in light of tax reform, without adequate funding.”Indeed, the new tax law could prompt a wave of confusion that the IRS is ill-prepared to handle.The agency estimates it needs about $500 million just to change computer programs, update forms, write new regulations and answer questions stemming from the bill.After the 1986 tax reform, agency call volume spiked, and the number of returns that required corrections also ticked up, and it is fair to expect the same now. Though the IRS has tried to improve its phone service recently, even before the tax law passed it anticipated that fewer than half of callers would obtain help from a live person this year.Given the complexity of the new law, many people will have questions that are more than basic.“Taxpayers who want to learn about how the tax law affects them are left searching about 140,000 web pages on IRS.gov or turning to paid professionals,” Olson wrote. Worried that you won’t be able to fill out your returns correctly under the new tax law?Do not take it out on the poor IRS employee who could not answer your tax question, even after you spent a half-hour on hold.Blame the GOP-led Congress, which, in its anti-IRS fervor, has driven the agency into the ground. It has become one of the most reliable traditions in contemporary Washington.Every year, the national taxpayer advocate explains that under-funding the IRS makes the tax filing process unnecessarily miserable for those who follow the law, while rewarding those who flout it.And every year, the Republican-led Congress decides to keep the tax system unnecessarily miserable for the law-abiding and easier on the lawbreakers.“Funding cuts have rendered the IRS unable to provide acceptable levels of taxpayer service, unable to upgrade its technology to improve its efficiency and effectiveness, and unable to maintain compliance programs,” national taxpayer advocate Nina Olson wrote in her annual report to lawmakers. Categories: Editorial, OpinionThe following editorial appeared in The Washington Post.Hate the Internal Revenue Service?center_img While the taxpayer advocate argued that the IRS could do more with less, there is no doubt that underfunding is a key driver of the dysfunction.Congress has cut the agency’s budget by some $300 million since 2009, a bit under 3 percent.During that time, lawmakers have saddled the IRS with responsibility to oversee the phase-in of a new health-care law and, now, a major tax overhaul. Can’t the IRS — and the Americans it is supposed to serve — just cope?“On the surface, it appears ‘customers’ (taxpayers) don’t have a choice about seeking another tax agency to work with — there are no competitors to which they can move their ‘business,’” Olson wrote.“In fact, however, there is a competitor, and it is the lure of noncompliance. If the IRS isn’t going to provide you the assistance you need in the manner you need it, then why bother complying with the tax laws?” More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

The Latest: Dolphins owner Ross to provide meals, jobs

first_imgThe Latest: Dolphins owner Ross to provide meals, jobs The Asian Football Confederation says the postponed two-leg series between China and South Korea will be played Feb. 19 and 24. No venues for the games were announced.The games were previously postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been postponed for one year.The 12-team women’s tournament is scheduled to start in Japan ahead of the Olympic opening ceremony on July 23, 2021.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 The federation says it “wants to clearly show its good will” and is also willing to extend the exception into the beginning of next season depending on how the pandemic progresses and if games will continue to be played without fans.The league says it will appeal the judge’s decision. It says it jeopardizes the soccer industry in Spain. The league was not able to schedule matches on Mondays before the competition was suspended in mid-March.___Premier League clubs have voted unanimously to resume contact training in the latest step toward restarting the soccer season amid the coronavirus pandemic.The league says players are now able to train as a group and “engage in tackling while minimizing any unnecessary close contact.” The projected Sept. 2 start date is broadly in line with other recent KHL seasons.___The French soccer federation has rejected the league’s bid for a 22-team second division next season to save clubs from being relegated.The French league voted last week to allow Le Mans and Orléans to stay in the second division while Pau and Dunkerque were promoted from the third division. But the executive committee of French soccer’s governing body has overruled that decision.The FFF says that “the two relegations for the 2019-20 season are maintained and the second division will remain at 20 clubs for the 2020-21 season.” May 27, 2020 Associated Press The Kontinental Hockey League says it plans to return on Sept. 2 to open the 2020-21 season.The last KHL game was played on March 12. The season was then suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.The KHL is widely considered to be the strongest hockey league outside the NHL. It ended its 2019-20 season part-way through the playoffs without declaring a champion.The league says Sept. 2 is a preliminary date which could be subject to “necessary corrections” depending on how the coronavirus situation develops.International travel restrictions became a problem for KHL teams. The league has teams in six countries but most are in Russia. The Ashland and Blue Grass are now back in play for the Oaks and Derby, which are set for Sept. 4-5 at Churchill Downs in Louisville.“Keeneland appreciates the quick response of the Commission to our request, and we applaud all their work on behalf of Kentucky racing during these unprecedented times,” said Keeneland President/CEO Bill Thomason, who also thanked Ellis Park in a news release.Added Ellis Park general manager Jeffrey Inman, “We are all in this together, and Ellis Park is pleased to work with Keeneland on a plan that benefits our horsemen and Kentucky racing.”Keeneland plans to run at least nine races each day and will feature 10 graded stakes events.___ The French government ordered soccer and rugby leagues to be canceled at the end of April because of the coronavirus pandemic.___Bologna says a member of its staff may have coronavirus and if it is confirmed the entire squad will go into quarantine.Bologna says the latest series of tests revealed “a suspected positive case for COVID-19.”The club says that as a precaution the team will train individually on Thursday. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has announced a multimillion-dollar commitment through the team’s foundation to provide jobs and food during the coronavirus pandemic. It would be the first positive case in Serie A since the teams started training in groups if it is confirmed.Serie A has been suspended since March 9 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The league is hoping to restart on June 13.___The Spanish soccer federation says it will allow games to be played on Mondays and Fridays until the end of the season even though a judge has denied the Spanish league’s official request to play on those days.League president Javier Tebas has said he wants matches to be played every day but the federation had been against the idea. Starting Monday at the Dolphins’ stadium, the initiative will give out a minimum of 1,000 meals each weekday for up to 12 months. On Sundays, the Dolphins will work with churches and community groups to purchase food from restaurants to provide a minimum of 1,000 meals.The team said Ross will invest at least $2 million, and with matching donations the goal is a $4 million total impact. The program will generate jobs and revenue for the restaurant industry, and employ guest services and security staff at the stadium, the Dolphins said.___The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has approved Keeneland’s request for a five-day, spectator-free meet July 8-12 that will allow the running of marquee prep races for the rescheduled Kentucky Derby and Oaks.Keeneland canceled its 16-day spring meet in March amid public health concerns because of the coronavirus outbreak. That initially eliminated the $600,000 Grade 2 Blue Grass and $400,000 Grade 1 Ashland, which award points toward the Derby and its sister race for fillies, Oaks. The track last week requested the special meet, which the KHRC granted after Ellis Park made the dates available. Play has been suspended in the world’s richest league since March 13.The league says “discussions are ongoing as work continues toward resuming the season.”Players returned to training last week and have been practicing in small groups with social distancing maintained.___The final Asian qualifying place for the women’s soccer tournament at the Tokyo Olympics is set to be decided in February.last_img read more

Globetrotters dribbling into Dawson Creek

first_imgTickets range from $27 to $82 and can be purchased through the Encana Events Centre’s official website or by calling the Tiger Box Office Plus, Dawson Co-op High Performance Ticket Outlet at 1-877-339-TIXX (8499).Tickets go on sale Monday, October 22. This Globetrotter’s world tour, “You Write the Rules”, will include fan participation like never before, as for the first time ever, fans will decide the rules of the game before it takes place, which could affect the game’s final outcome.Fans will have the opportunity to vote on their favourite, craziest rule on the team’s official website, then get to witness that rule implemented into the live show.Along with the entertaining show, fans will also be privilege to some unique opportunities in the pre, and post game shows.- Advertisement -Prior to the start of the game, fans will have the ability to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime experience with the purchase of a “Magic Pass”, allowing them to spend time shooting around and learning some new tricks on the court with the actual Globetrotters.Fans will also have the opportunity to meet the team following the game, as they will remain on the hardwood to talk to the fans and sign autographs.This year, the Globetrotters’ roster will feature stars such as Dizzy Grant, Handles Franklin, Hi-Lite Bruton and female sensation Mighty Mitchell.Advertisementlast_img read more