Americans Unable To Reach IRS

Photo by Berkeley Communications on Unsplash

( – It’s not just you; taxpayers are having trouble getting hold of a human when they call the IRS.

According to the Taxpayer Advocate Service, this tax season, only 20 percent of the millions of taxpayers calling the IRS spoke to a human.

The revelation came in a Wall Street Journal report published on Wednesday, which cited Erin Collins, the head of the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service.

Despite Congress raising the funding for the IRS through the Inflation Reduction Act and hiring 7,000 more representatives as of April, few taxpayers are having their questions answered.

The IRS has reached an 85 percent level of service, and its customer service scored 88 percent, but Collins explained the higher ratings weren’t noteworthy as it only covers 35 of the agency’s 102 customer service numbers.

The rating also didn’t account for the millions of people who end up hanging up on the call or who are sent a recorded message.

In her midyear report, Collins explained that of the 2.1 million taxpayers who contact the agency’s collections line, fewer than 20 percent speak to a human, of those who remained on hold for an average of 10 minutes.

Further, she highlighted that there aren’t any answers about whether those who reach a representative have their issues resolved.

Collins also suggested that taxpayers with more urgent queries should have their calls prioritized.

In response to Collins’s report, the IRS said it “recognizes” the need for “further improvements,” but insisted it had already made considerable “transformation efforts.”

Despite these assurances of improved “transformation efforts,” as of April, the IRS still had roughly 500,000 unresolved cases, taking almost two years to resolve some cases.

Collins also highlighted the inefficient use of representatives, noting that representatives “were waiting for calls about 25 [percent] of the time” when they should be answering calls.

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