IRS Controversy: IRS Customer Service Heading for an All-Time Low

The US tax code is impossibly complicated. It can be a challenge for even full-time tax specialists to stay on top of the law, so it’s almost impossible to expect the average taxpayer to be able to make sense of the laws and regulations.

Unfortunately, when a taxpayer has a question or concern and needs to contact the agency, he or she has a nearly 50% chance of not being able to get through!

As The Guardian reports, the IRS is unable to answer the calls of many taxpayers:

IRS budget cuts over the last five years have resulted in poor customer service and weaker enforcement, a report found.

With the IRS overseeing implementation of parts of the Affordable Care Act, the lack of funding becomes troubling. US consumers, who are likely to have questions about the new healthcare law and how it affects their tax return, will have to prepare for long wait times and even the possibility of having their calls to IRS go unanswered.

Currently, the agency predicts that it will be able to answer only about half of taxpayers’ phone calls.

“If we don’t receive the funding and we can’t do the hiring needed to handle this call volume, we estimate our level of phone service next year would plunge to 53%, which would be the lowest since 2008,” said IRS commissioner John Koskinen at the IRS Nationwide Tax Forum in Chicago last week. “At 53%, that would mean close to half of those trying to get our help over the phone would not get through.”

So what’s a taxpayer supposed to do? If he or she is unable to receive an answer from the IRS and then makes a mistake while filing their tax return, you’d better believe that the IRS won’t accept “we couldn’t get an answer!” as an excuse.

It’s frustrating that the IRS is unable to provide basic customer service for taxpayers. But that frustration pales in comparison to the devastation that an IRS controversy can create for a taxpayer who is in the midst of a dispute with the agency. If you’re involved in a tax dispute and you’re worried about things like penalties, bank levies, and even criminal charges – we can help. Please contact us today to learn more.