- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The IRS is going to need some $500 million over the next two years to implement the recently passed $1.5 trillion tax-cut bill, according to an agency report released Wednesday.

That’s on top of funding cuts that have already left the agency unable to keep up with many of its service demands, Nina Olson, the National Taxpayer Advocate, wrote in her office’s annual report to Congress.

The IRS has estimated it will need some $495 million in the next two fiscal years to implement the law, which will include programming and systems updates, answering calls, revising regulations, and training employees, Ms. Olson wrote.

There are 131 filing systems that will be affected by the new law, the report said.

Ms. Olson also wrote that overall, funding cuts in recent years have left the agency unable to provide acceptable levels of service, upgrade its technology, and maintain compliance programs.

“‘Shortcuts’ have become the norm, and ‘shortcuts’ are incompatible with high-quality tax administration,” Ms. Olson wrote. “There is no doubt that the IRS needs more funding.”

But she also said that limited resources can’t be used as a catch-all excuse for falling short.

“In the private and nonprofit sectors, saying ‘we don’t have the resources’ is the beginning of the discussion, not the end,” she wrote.

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