2012 Tax Season and the IRS
The 2012 tax season was fraught with anxiety over refunds, extensions, and larger tax bills. What started in the IRS database during the early part of the season quickly became a national issue with many people and business affected.
The IRS in its infinite wisdom, based on last year errors and fraud, decided to change the way that electronic filing of tax returns were received and processed this year in an effort to detect fraud. Having made the changes to the automated system, the system then quickly bogged down and people were perplexed when checking on the “Where’s my Refund” site only to find no answers and some confusion.
During all the chaos and folderol … the IRS attempted to reassure people that they would be receiving their electronically prepared tax return refunds in the “historical 10 – 21 days”. This turned out to be correct in a few cases, but far from actuality in many other cases. Let’s not even get started on the state issues with refunds and the like.
Well, it seems that the IRS Oversight Board heard some of our complaints. (They would have had to be stone deaf not too!)They have addressed some of the issues in their annual report to Congress. (This is where you exclaim in delight that there is actually someone who watches the IRS …. Their actual main goal is to improve service to make voluntary compliance easier.)
To this effort they have recommended that the IRS re-evaluate its measures on refund timeliness. They have pointed out that the current measure used by the IRS was based on a time when most all tax returns were filed by mailing in paper returns and the refunds issued via the IRS sending out paper checks. With the event that tax returns are now e-filed and most refunds being requested via direct deposit, the standards should be challenged so that refunds are processed in a more timely matter.
This makes sense ultimately as most of your tax returns are being checked electronically by the automated system and are probably not even seen by a human eye, and since this process is rather quick, the IRS should be able to then tag and trigger the electronic, direct deposit, refund almost immediately. …. I, myself, look forward to the time when your refund can be in your bank account in a matter of hours instead of days or weeks. Perhaps one day soon, it will get that way.
Meanwhile … we shall applaud the Oversight Committee and keep our eye out and update you all on other things that are being recommended, changed, and otherwise discussed. (Did you know that the IRS is attempting to make a smart phone app?)