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

Jakarta Police to disband late-night sprinting matches in new PSBB period

first_imgKompas.com reported that several matches had taken place in Bekasi, West Java, and Ciledug and Tangerang in Banten.Instagram handle @bekasi.terkini posted footage of a local sprinting match in Pondok Gede, Bekasi. Many people were seen crowding the street while cheering the participants. Jakarta Police traffic unit director Sr. Comr. Sambodo Purnomo Yogo said disbanding the matches was more complicated than stopping illegal car or motorcycle races.“[…] Sprinting matches only last for a short amount of time, so by the time the police arrive, [they] will most likely have already ended,” Sambodo said.He added that those found to have been involved in illegal sprinting matches could face up to 18 months in prison or a maximum fine of Rp 1.5 billion (US$100,961), in accordance with Article 63 of Law No. 38/2004 on public roads. (rfa)Topics : He argued that the races — many of which take place on public roads — not only jeopardize public health but also disrupt public order and road safety.Yusri warned that groups that resist disbursement could face criminal charges.Read also: Police launch operation to monitor, sanction Jakarta PSBB violatorsA spate of illegal sprinting matches has recently gone viral on social media, raising health and safety concerns among the public as the new trend attracts large crowds and disrupts traffic.center_img The Jakarta Police are set to crack down on unauthorized, late-night sprinting matches across the capital and its satellite regions during the latest reinstatement of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) amid COVID-19 concerns.Officers will be deployed to conduct city-wide inspections to ensure public compliance with health protocols, including the ban on social gatherings, said Jakarta Police spokesperson Yusri Yunus.“We’ll disband [illegal matches] in accordance with the ban on gatherings consisting of more than five people,” Yusri told the press on Tuesday as quoted by tribunnews.com.last_img read more

MLAX : Q&A with Inside Lacrosse staff writer Zach Babo

first_img Published on May 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Michael: mjcohe02@syr.edu | @Michael_Cohen13 mjcohe02@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+ Zach Babo got a behind-the-scenes look at the Syracuse lacrosse team when head coach John Desko allowed Inside Lacrosse to watch the Orange practice the day before defeating Duke 13-11 in the Konica Minolta Big City Classic. Babo, a staff writer for Inside Lacrosse, witnessed the SU offense’s coming-out party, so to speak, as it jumped out to an 8-1 lead over the Blue Devils. The 13 total goals for Syracuse marked the team’s highest total against a Top 10 team this season.The Daily Orange caught up with Babo to discuss his thoughts on SU’s NCAA quarterfinal matchup against unseeded Maryland. Babo offers insight on the matchup of Maryland’s attack against the Syracuse defense, the experience each team brings, and the importance of John Galloway to SU’s success come Sunday.The Daily Orange: Prior to a scrimmage back in February, John Galloway said the Maryland attack unit was going to be one of the best attack units that Syracuse would face all year. Do you see that unit posing problems for the Syracuse defense three months later in May?Zach Babo: I definitely do because I think in a lot of ways the (Maryland) attack unit matches up very well against Syracuse’s close defense. What my guess is going to be is that the biggest matchup will be John Lade on Ryan Young. To me that seems to be the best matchup. Young is the fastest guy on that attack. Lade is the best foot-for-foot cover guy in the country, when he’s on.… (Brian) Megill comes off to me as kind of your big, muscle defenseman. So I see him probably getting the matchup against (Grant) Catalino. Those are both big, physical guys, let them kind of beat up on each other for a game. And then I imagine that (Tom) Guadagnolo will wind up taking on Owen Blye.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAnd those are matchups that it’s really hard to say who is going to have the edge in those.What do you see as being one of the biggest keys to the game?Z.B.: I think this is going to be the theme of that game the Syracuse seniors versus the Maryland seniors. And I don’t know what you can say is kind of a better senior edge to have.The edge that Syracuse carries of a senior class that wants to win three championships, that knows how to play in big games, that’s been there before, that demands success after still stinging from the early bounce-out last year. Compared to a Maryland senior class that has received a decent amount of hype since they were freshmen, they’ve been playing together for four years, but they’ve never been able to get past the quarterfinals. How they play in that game on Sunday is going to largely determine their legacy. You’re going to remember that Maryland senior class in a whole different way if they can bump off Syracuse and advance to the final four than if they had one more good season that ends in the quarterfinals again.In a game where these teams match up very evenly, does the experience of SU goaltender John Galloway and his ability to be a quarterback for his defense make a difference in how this game may play out?Z.B.: I think it could. … I think that if there is one place that you like to be a little older, particularly in the postseason, it does tend to be in goal. I think that Galloway, having been there before, really knowing how to talk to his defense, how to get them to move, how to recognize certain things on the field in the course of the game I think that could definitely be a factor that swings Syracuse’s way.The flip side of that, that might swing away from Syracuse is the kind of wildcard you get with a young kid like Niko Amato in goal for Maryland. It’s that sometimes young kids don’t know they should be nervous, don’t know they should be playing tight. And Niko Amato has shown at different times this year that he can stand on his head and just frustrate teams and make saves that you don’t expect him to make. Commentslast_img read more