The IRS expects to answer only 4 of every 10 taxpayer questions. And no tough ones.

Federal Times: Due to longstanding funding cuts, a lack of trained personnel and a reluctance to innovate, the Internal Revenue Service is unprepared to deal with taxpayer needs for the first tax season under the GOP’s new tax law, according to the Taxpayer Advocate Service’s Annual Report to Congress.

According to the report, the IRS estimates that it will need $495 million in the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years to implement the new tax law, which would include “programming and systems updates, answering taxpayer phone calls, drafting and publishing new forms and publications, revising regulations and issuing other guidance, training employees on the new law and guidance, and developing the systems capacity to verify compliance with new eligibility and documentation requirements.”

“I see daily the consequences of reduced funding of the IRS and the choices made by the agency in the face of these funding constraints,” national taxpayer advocate Nina E. Olson wrote in the preface to the report.

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