Making Government Operations More Open

Make the IRS auditors open and accountable to citizens

The IRS is the opposite of an open government. They operate in a "we are always right" fashion and are nearly impossible to get help from. They have been created for a purpose to collect money for the people to help our nation of the people. However, they forgot along the way that the same people they treat with indifference and as a number are those that they are working for.

 

First, the IRS should not deploy an assumption that every citizen is guilty until they themselves prove their own innocence. While this might be an efficient manner to operate within, this is providing a disservice to the citizen selected for examination. This does also mean that automated notices should be done away with. For example, some citizens get an automated notice that all of their charitable contributions are discarded and invalid along with the paperwork to pay the back taxes and fines associated with those contributions. The citizen was assumed guilty and they are able to try to prove their innocence by sending in their paperwork.

 

Second, the IRS should work in as efficient and open of a process as they expect the citizens to be. For example, upon being audited the IRS expects the citizen to return documentation within 30 days by mail or fax. However, they are "not able to" confirm the receipt of that information for 3 weeks let alone respond to it. Websites and interactions to check on the status of the information should be available.

 

Third, the IRS should allow for open communication to the people who can actually help. Upon being audited, many citizens are pointed to a toll free number they can call and talk to a representative that has nothing to do with the audit itself. This is not open and is also a disservice to citizens.

 

Finally, the IRS should allow for an open way to give feedback on a particular auditor's performance. If an auditor was being unreasonable, there should be an open process to complain about an auditor. For example, if an auditor is being rude or insensitive to a citizen, they should have the right to easily file a complaint and have that complaint responded to.

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Idea No. 30