If you’ve ever tried to call the IRS, you truly understand the meaning of frustration
For the average taxpayer, the waits are long and often futile: 39% of those who called the IRS last year simply hung up before their call was answered, according to a scathing recent report by the IRS Taxpayer Advocate. (The IRS typically responds to the report at midyear.)
It’s only going to get worse. “Given our very limited resources, phone lines will be very busy, and there will frequently be extensive wait times,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
IRS customer service has been struggling for the past three years, and the cause is simple: Congress has been cutting its budget. The president requested $340 million in funding for the IRS to support the Affordable Care Act, but none of that was funded.
Even without the ACA funding, the cuts have been severe. In the budget year 2012, the IRS allotted $172 million to train its customer service representatives, according to the IRS Taxpayer Advocate.
The IRS now has $22 million to train those same people – an 87% drop.