If you have experienced long hold times and inefficient service from the IRS, please know that you aren’t alone. Even professionals have sat on hold for lengthy periods.
Just a few years ago, tax experts could usually count on speaking with a human almost immediately after dialing the agency. That’s no longer the case.
IRS customer service personnel are not happy with the situation either. Budget cuts have led to staffing limitation, and existing workers are feeling the impact. The situation not only creates stress for IRS employees, but also for taxpayers who must tolerate what feels like an endless wait to get a resolution of their tax problems.
A great part of this problem came from the agency’s 2013 $618 million budget cut. As a result, customer service was vastly reduced and employee compensation was reduced by $276 million. This included furloughing employees for three days.
Enforcement personnel and audit staff also received cuts. Audits went down 5% and individual return audits declined to 1,404,931 from 1,481,966 in full year 2012. Collection activities such as “taxpayer liens, levies, and property seizures declined from 3,669,663 in FY 2012 to 2,457,647 in FY 2013, an approximately 33 percent decrease,” according to Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).