The Internal Revenue Service says their workload has increased over the past ten years, and since 2010, funding and staffing have been cut by eight percent. Impacts of this included:
- Taxpayers who called and got through to an customer service agent had to wait on hold approximately 17.6 minutes before speaking with a human. That’s up from 2.6 minutes ten years earlier, a nearly six-fold increase.
- Last year, the IRS could only answer 61 percent of calls from taxpayers seeking to speak with a customer service representative (CSR). That’s down from 87 percent ten years earlier, with half the decline occurring since FY 2010. In FY 2013, 39 percent of calls (some 20 million) simply did not get through.
The IRS also recently announced it will only answer “basic” tax law questions on its telephone lines and it will not answer any tax law questions after the filing season, including questions from the millions of taxpayers who obtain filing extensions and prepare their returns later in the year.
What does this mean to the average taxpayer? When you have issues, getting them resolved will be more difficult. Essentially: pay more, expect less.