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Insights from the Team

Why the IRS Won’t Answer Your Calls

Ever wonder why you can’t get through to the IRS? Turns out, severe budget shortages and hiring freezes, coupled with inflation and growing demand for taxpayer services, have left the IRS floundering.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities published an article on April 4 that details some of the reasons that the IRS is performing under par. Taxpayers trying to call customer service, victims of identity theft, and low-income taxpayers have all been particularly affected by these frustrating gaps in service.

Writers Chuck Marr and Cecile Murray point out that “In 2010, about three-quarters of calls to the IRS were answered, with an average wait time of 11 minutes. During last year’s filing season, only 37 percent of calls were answered, with an average wait of 23 minutes.  This means that more than 60 percent of calls were not answered at all.”

Sound familiar? IRS Commissioner Koskinen “notes that the IRS uses ‘applications that were running when John F. Kennedy was President.'”

There are plans in progress to deal with some of the issues: “In response to criticism, Congress agreed to a small nominal increase in IRS funding for fiscal year 2016, though funding was essentially flat in inflation-adjusted terms.  The year-end omnibus appropriations bill provided an additional $290 million to improve taxpayer services (in part by hiring seasonal employees), strengthen cybersecurity, and expand the agency’s ability to address identity theft.”

Read the full article here, and tell me what you think. Have you been negatively affected by the IRS’ lack of resources? If you’re struggling, don’t wait for the problem to get bogged down in the system–get in touch with me and let the Taxman help.

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