Thursday, January 23, 2014

How is the Customer Service at the IRS?


The Taxpayer’s Advocate Service recently released a report regarding the performance of the IRS during the 2013 tax year. As you may imagine, there were numerous issues during the tax season last year and similar issues can be expected for the 2014 tax season. Some of the problems commented on in the report include:
  1. Fewer calls from taxpayers were answered than in previous years.

      1. In 2013, only 61 percent of all taxpayer calls were answered.

      2. That means 20 million calls were not able to get through.

      3. The reason given for this poor performance was lack of resources.

  2. Taxpayers were kept on hold for significantly longer periods than in past years

      1. Ten years ago, the average wait time was less than three minutes to speak with a customer service representative.

      2. Last year, the average wait time was 18 minutes.

      3. Again, resources were named as the culprit.

  3. As a result of the dwindling budget and resources for the IRS, they have stated that assistance with return preparation for the elderly and disabled will be discontinued in 2014.

  4. The IRS has also stated that answers will only be provided for “basic” tax law questions. In addition, these “basic” tax law answers will only be given during the tax filing season ending April 15. Any questions after April 15th will be directed to the website.

If you have worked well with the IRS in the past, you may find it significantly frustrating to try to do so in the current fiscal climate. I contacted the IRS a few days ago about my own tax situation and was on hold for 22 minutes before a customer service representative answered. I will say that once I was able to speak with her, she was extremely pleasant and very helpful.

If you’ve been handling your tax returns yourself it may be time to consider turning them over to a professional to avoid the hassles and frustrations, which are becoming more and more frequent in the system. Give us a call today for a free 30-minute consultation. 916-576-7050.

3 comments:

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