An Internal Revenue Services lawyer from New York claims millions of dollars in tax revenue is being jeopardized because of mismanagement and an overworked staff, The Journal News’ Washington Bureau reports. Jane J. Kim, an attorney in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel in Manhattan, sent a whistle-blower letter with that warning to 10 U.S. senators this week.
The letter follows a report two months ago from Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson that said IRS taxpayer services are suffering due to budget cuts. The agency’s funding and staffing have been cut 8 percent since 2010, Olson said. Thirty-nine percent of phone calls to the IRS were unanswered last year, and callers who did get through waited an average of more than 17 minutes to talk to a representative, the report said.
Kim’s letter said the Manhattan office is arguably “the busiest IRS litigation office in the country,” with overworked lawyers, paralegals and secretaries unable to handle the workload of sometimes multi-million dollar Tax Court cases.
“We are unable to follow through with certain abusive taxpayers,’’ Kim wrote. “For example, we don’t have the time to refer a taxpayer’s other years for examination, even if we know that he or she has successfully pulled off a scheme for numerous years.’’
IRS officials declined to discuss the letter, saying federal privacy rules bar them from commenting on specific employees.
“Obvious tax cheats are being let go because they don’t have enough staff,’’ said tax expert David Cay Johnston, who broke the news of Kim’s letter in the Wednesday edition of Tax Analysts newsletter.
Both New York senators — Democrats Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer — received the letter from Kim.
“The issues brought up in this letter are alarming and I hope to see a quick and full investigation from the IRS,” Gillibrand said in a statement.