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Is Tax Automation a Bad Thing?

Automating the tax filing process has created problems, a report suggests.

Taxpayers are suffering from a lack of services and are struggling to comply with increased regulations, mostly because the Internal Revenue Service is being buried with work at the same time that its resources are being cut, National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson said in her annual congressional report, according to Accounting Today.

Olson noted in the report that the IRS was faced with the challenge of completing a heavier workload while losing funding, the source reports.

"This is causing the IRS to resort to shortcuts that undermine fundamental taxpayer rights and harm taxpayers - and at the same time reduces the IRS’s ability to deliver on its core mission of raising revenue," she said.

The rise in automated processes at the IRS is one of the problems, Olson said, because it inaccurately assumes that filings were noncompliant without getting any response from taxpayers.

The Journal of Accountancy reports that Olson also took issue with the fact that there is no codified taxpayers' bill of rights. Accountants may be able to help their clients avoid delays or auto-voided returns by informing them of their rights and guiding them through the automated submission process.