17th April, 2012 - Posted by Kourtney Wooten - No Comments
Very few days of the calendar year strike the fear and contempt in the minds of American citizens as April 15, the day that tax returns are traditionally due. Although, this year, the April 15 deadline is actually an April 17 deadline because April 15 falls on a Sunday and April 16 is Emancipation Day, a holiday observed in the District of Columbia.
Regardless of the actual day that the deadline falls, “Tax Day,” as it is frequently called, is not exactly a day of celebration in the states.
Even for folks anticipating meaty refunds and the promise of additional dollars for home repairs, new toys or other miscellaneous expenditures, the confusing process of filling out and filing a tax return makes the day painful at best. This is further compounded by the strange desire of most Americans to begin the process of filling out and filing their returns on April 14.
Now, there may be a new and innovative solution to help Americans struggling with the confusing tax laws, income brackets and tax forms seemingly written in foreign tongues.
According to a recent article in Fierce Enterprise Communications, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is looking to provide support and a helping hand to Americans drowning in a sea of tax laws and paperwork. However, the IRS has limited resources, and obviously can’t be present to help every struggling American. It’s for this reason that they’re turning to video to toss a virtual life preserver to American citizens.
The IRS’ pilot program is designed to offer tax preparation assistance to Americans via advanced Unified Communications (UC) solutions, such as video teleconferencing (VTC). As part of the pilot, American citizens can access centers in Colorado Springs, CO, Fresno, CA, and Utica, NY, equipped with VTC solutions where they can receive face-to-face assistance from an IRS agent.
As of right now, the pilot is restricted to assistance with tax preparation and questions about refunds. However, should it be successful, the potential for other uses within the IRS are almost limitless, such as conducting audits via video. The program could also provide previously unheard of access to the agency and tax assistance should it be rolled out across the nation.
This could significantly cut IRS expenditures by reducing the need for field offices. It can also make tax season easier for American citizens by eliminating the need to travel for audits or elicit expensive tax assistance from outside venders. Each individual IRS employee could also increase their geographic range and number of Americans they assist.
Tax time doesn’t need to be a high stress time for Americans. By utilizing today’s advanced VTC solutions, Americans can gain unprecedented access to the people who know the tax laws the best and get some peace of mind when filing their returns.