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The Pathetic Reality of Dealing with the IRS

IRS Customer Service
Fox News
had an interesting article recently about the sorry state of “customer service” at the federal government’s Internal Revenue Service – the dreaded IRS.

As tax day looms, Fox reports that an annual watchdog report to Congress finds that the agency is falling short when it comes to answering Americans' questions about the convoluted tax code. 

The National Taxpayer Advocate found only 61 percent of people seeking to speak with a customer service representative last year got through to anybody -- leaving nearly 20 million calls unanswered.

Naturally, being a government study the report largely blamed budget cuts for the poor customer service.

We have a different take as you might imagine. 

A CPA friend of ours who shall remain anonymous for obvious reasons reports: "Today, I finally got through to the IRS practitioner HOTLINE. It was 3:25 p.m. and they close at 6 p.m. After a one-hour wait for someone to answer the phone, the lady who answered said this: ‘You have only 5 minutes to resolve the matter because I am not going to miss the 3:45 train.’ I asked if I could be transferred to another agent. She said no and you have less than 4 minutes now. I hung up and will try again next week."

The arrogance of the employees of the IRS is the source of the pathetic reality of dealing with this out of control federal agency. The IRS's Kafkaesque "customer service," which should be seen as employees responding to employers, since we taxpaying citizens are supposedly the source of power in our government, will only be improved by changing the employees and the culture of the agency. Congress should reject the agency's bureaucratic panhandling for a bigger budget.

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