Budget cuts and sequestration have led the IRS to cut its overall training budget by more than 85% and training hours for key employees by up to by 89% since fiscal year 2009. Most of the IRS operations that work directly with taxpayers had their training curtailed even more that the agency as a whole. The IRS has cut its training and education programs to a bare minimum without considering the type of training employees need to perform basic job functions, protect taxpayer rights, and prevent harm and burden for taxpayers.
IRS employees must administer a complicated, ever-changing set of tax laws that are difficult to interpret and apply. A workforce without proper (or any) training in how to perform core job functions cannot serve taxpayers. Taxpayers are harmed when they can’t contact the IRS and receive prompt, accurate replies to their inquiry, or have their accounts correctly resolved. The IRS cannot continue to meet budgetary obligations at the expense of training employees.
If the IRS fails to train employees in the substantive knowledge and skills they need to perform their jobs successfully, taxpayers cannot expect to receive assistance from employees with the knowledge and skills to help them.