The National Society of Accountants has sent a letter to every member of Congress urging them to enact legislation to support a Tax Practitioners Bill of Rights that the organization issued in June and increase funding for the Internal Revenue Service.

NSA has sent the Tax Practitioners Bill of Rights to all of its members and affiliated state organizations and has also started an online petition to allow all practitioners to sign and show their support (see Accountants Propose Tax Practitioners Bill of Rights).

The letter, signed by NSA president Marilyn M. Niwao and NSA executive vice president John Ams, says in part, “Tax practitioners see a tax system that is breaking down. Retroactive tax laws, deteriorating IRS service, and undue IRS demands on practitioners during tax filing seasons now increasingly define the world where tax practitioners work. At the same time, Congress and the IRS have been shifting the heavy burden of making our nation’s tax system work onto the shoulders of tax practitioners.”

The letter argues that the 30,000 tax and accounting practitioners across the nation represented by the

NSA and its affiliated state organizations need adequate service from the IRS to serve the needs of their clients, who include individuals and small businesses. Sixty percent of individuals and small businesses hire tax practitioners to prepare their tax returns, the NSA noted.

“Practitioners have reported waiting for over 2 ½ to 3 hours for the IRS to answer questions on the dedicated ‘Practitioners Priority Service’ telephone line,” the letter continued. “In fact, the recent National Taxpayer Advocate Mid-Year report issued July 15, 2015 confirmed that the IRS answered only 45 percent of calls from practitioners who called the IRS on the Practitioner Priority Service line. The IRS also reported answering only 37 percent of all calls.”

The letter concludes, “Although we understand the necessity of cutting government costs due to our nation’s deficits, we believe that an efficient and effective tax system will reap the maximum in tax revenue collections, encourage economic expansion, and help greatly in reducing our nation’s deficits. Slashing the IRS budget only results in poor service to our nation’s individual and small business taxpayers and their tax return preparers and advisers. Less funding for IRS audits will also lead to less tax compliance and lower revenue collection.”

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