TIME Quotes Mark Matthews on Programs Overwhelming the IRS


In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic last spring—as healthcare providers worked tirelessly to treat piling COVID-19 cases, nursing home employees moved in with their residents, and liquor distilleries shifted production from spirits to hand sanitizer—another group of employees found themselves buried in piles of unexpected mission-critical work: the nameless bureaucrats of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

. . .

Without being granted extra money, it’s a zero sum game: the more IRS time and resources go towards implementing new benefits programs, the less time and resources are devoted to doing its fundamental job of collecting revenue. “Any time you ask the IRS to go about sending money out rather than assessing and collecting taxes—no matter how laudable, like PPP or stimulus funds—it requires the IRS to take their best IT and management people off the core mission as they scramble to accomplish the new goal,” says former deputy IRS commissioner (and Member at Caplin & DrysdaleMark Matthews

. . .

Experts see a crisis looming if that money doesn’t make it to the beleaguered agency. “I have been increasingly concerned in recent years that there might be a significant failure in the filing season,” says Matthews, the former deputy commissioner. “Last minute tax changes seem to come later and later each year, with each new bell and whistle on old systems a potential failure point.”

For the full article, please visit TIME’s website.


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