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IRS Doghouse lets taxpayers bite back

Whatever you think of the just enacted tax bill, we at least finally have some resolution to the 2010 and 2011 tax laws. Now comes the fun part: Complying with them.

I suspect the IRS will have its hands quite full in the coming months as taxpayers and tax professionals alike sort through all the retroactive and prospective law changes.

And you know what that means: Confrontations, I mean, interactions with IRS employees.

OK. I do mean confrontations. Even in the best of times, taxpayer experiences with the IRS often don't end well.

Now, however, taxpayers can do more than fume. We have an online outlet through which we can vent.

You can tell the world all about your tax tribulations and how IRS employees helped, or didn't help, you deal with them at IRS Doghouse.

The website bills itself as "the world's first and only database of anonymously publicly generated reviews of IRS personnel."

Taxpayers' experiences ultimately will produce one (poor) to five (great) bone ratings.

IRS-Doghouse rating systemYes, that image is a bit blurry. Click it for a slightly clearer, larger view.

Reward or bite back: While most visitors to the site probably come to log complaints about federal tax agency staff, IRS Doghouse welcomes positive as well as negative reviews.

You can reward an IRS employee for, among other things, being helpful, fair, knowledgeable, using common sense and giving the taxpayer or tax pro the benefit of the doubt.

Irs_doghouse_logo If you want to bite back, IRS Doghouse lets you cite employees for such actions as being antagonistic, arrogant, belligerent, appearing to delight in the taxpayer's misery and falling into a "just following orders" mentality.

In addition to the checkbox choices, you have the option to include "remarkable details of case and/or dealings" with the IRS employee.

What IRS Doghouse doesn't welcome is extreme profanity, hateful comments and threats. Such postings, notes the site, will be removed.

Info you'll need: You don't have to leave your name or e-mail to comment. The site asks you to create a nickname to post an IRS employee rating.

It does, however, want to know whether you're a tax professional or just plain old Jane or Jack Taxpayer.

To report on your experience with an IRS staffer, you'll need the employee's first and last names as well as his or her position within the agency.

Here's hoping that IRS Doghouse gets more five-bone reports than bad ones this coming tax season. But whatever your experience with an IRS employee, at least you can now share.

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Will Tax For Food

Do you really believe this will make a difference? And if so, then how long before the slander suits start rolling in?

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