IRS Customer Service Will Be Really Bad This Year

Annual report predicts only 43% of callers will have luck
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2015 12:55 PM CST
If You Call IRS This Year, You Probably Won't Get Through
Stock image   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – It's not like anyone wants to talk to the IRS, but those who need to talk to the IRS this tax-filing season will probably be out of luck. An annual report issued by National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson predicts that only 43% of callers will get through to an agent this year, reports the Washington Post—and those who do get through will likely have to wait at least a half-hour for the privilege. Contrast that with figures from 2004, when the agency answered 87% of calls and the hold time was under three minutes; 64% of calls went answered last year.

story continues below

"We do not think it is acceptable for the government to tell millions of taxpayers who seek help each year, in essence, 'We’re sorry. You’re on your own,'" says Olson, whose office is what the Hill calls an "in-house watchdog for the IRS." She blames steady budget cuts in recent years, including this year's cut of $346 million to $10.9 billion. That's down 17% in four years, when factoring in inflation, reports the New York Times, which notes that the reductions come as tax forms are getting more complicated thanks to ObamaCare and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. (Read more IRS stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.